This past week, the SC Senate approved the new bill that drastically increases the penalties for anyone found guilt of abusing police service animals. According to the new bill, anyone found guilt of killing a police dog or horse will face up to 10 years in prison and/or face fines in excess of $10,000.
The new bill also stipulates that “if a person is convicted under this section, that person may be required to complete up to five hundred (500) hours of community service for an animal-related organization or foundation.”
The bill is being backed by many of the palmetto state’s top law enforcement agencies. Robert Stewart, speaking on behalf of South Carolina’s Fraternal Order of Police, said the trained animals are “invaluable” to law enforcement.
According to Stewart, there were at least 10 trained K-9s killed in 2016.
“What we’re attempting to do here is have more of a deterrent of this activity of hurting and killing these animals,” Stewart commented.
The bill is now expected to be heard before the full Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources next week.
Do you support this new bill?