Law awaits Governor’s Signature
26, 2014- Howard Ondick
sponsored by Senator Matt Smith of Allegheny County that would strengthen
Pennsylvania’s law against those who would torture or kill a police dog is on
its way to the governor for his signature.
Law" (Senate Bill 1261) is named after the Pittsburgh canine officer that
was stabbed in February while helping police apprehend a suspect. Rocco later died from his injuries.
Bill 1261 would amend Pennsylvania’s Dog Law and House Bill 2026 would amend
the Pennsylvania Crimes Code to toughen penalties (up to 10 years in prison and
a fine up to $25,000) against anyone who severely injures, tortures, or kills a
police animal. It increases the offense
from a third degree felony to a second degree felony.
a third degree felony brings with it a maximum penalty of seven years in prison
and a fine of up to $15,000.
Smith says both bills are necessary because the penalty for torturing or
killing a police dog is listed in two separate areas of Pennsylvania law (the
Dog Law and Crimes Code).
Bill 2026 increases the grade for harming a police animal from a third degree
felony to a second degree felony.
House of Representatives approved SB 1261 on Tuesday. That legislation along with House Bill 2026
await the governor’s signature.