Killing a police dog could land someone behind bars for as many as 15 years under a law the Utah Legislature passed Thursday.
SB57 would bump intentionally or knowingly killing a K-9 service dog from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony, punishable by one to 15 years in prison. The House passed the measure 43-24.
Rep. Lowry Snow, R-Santa Clara, said a police dog is an extension of his handler. When someone takes the life of a dog, it's one step from killing an officer, he said.
Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, argued against the bill, saying police dogs are used like weapons. "We do not use our officers as weapons," he said.
The Senate passed the bill last week. It now goes to the governor for consideration.
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