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Killing Police K-9s In Florida Could Earn Longer Prison Term

Emily Michot
Miami Herald
City of Miami K-9 Officer Boss, is ready for work or for play suited up in his new bullet and knife-proof vest Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.

People who kill or seriously injure police dogs in Florida soon could face tougher penalties after the Senate unanimously passed a bill inspired by the shooting death of a canine named Fang.

The bill passed Wednesday would make that crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It's now a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Republican Sen. Aaron Bean said his bill was inspired after Fang was "executed" in Jacksonville last year. The 3-year-old German shepherd was killed as police chased a 17-year-old carjacking suspect.

Republican Sen. Tom Wright is a former police officer, and he told his colleagues of two instances he responded to calls and his K-9 stopped armed suspects.

A companion bill is advancing in the Florida House.