LEGISLATION TO INCREASE PENALITIES FOR KILLING POLICE DOGS ADVANCES

An Assembly committee released legislation to enhance the penalties for intentionally killing an on-duty police or search and rescue dog.

The measure was drafted in response to the Nov 30, 2010 killing of Schultz, a 3 1/2 year-old German shepherd and member of Gloucester Township’s police force. After tracking down a robbery suspect and latching onto the man’s arm, Schultz was purposefully thrown into the path of oncoming traffic, where he was struck and killed.

Under the bill, criminals found guilty of killing a police dog or a dog engaged in a search and rescue operation would receive a mandatory minimum five-year prison term, with no eligibility for parole, and a $15,000 fine.

Killing a police or search and rescue dog currently is a third-degree crime and carries penalties of between three to five years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

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