Law Increases Penalties For Killing Police Dogs

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TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation enhancing penalties for intentionally killing an on-duty police or search and rescue dog on Wednesday. The measure is named “Schultz’s Law” in honor of a Gloucester Township police dog killed by a crime suspect last year.

The bill 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 thrown into the path of oncoming traffic, where he was struck and killed.

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Under the new law, criminals found guilty of killing a police dog or a dog engaged in a search and rescue operation will 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 previously was a third-degree crime and carried penalties of between three to five years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

“Police dogs do not simply work alongside our police, they are part of our police,” said state Sen. Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “They provide a tremendous service and perform a vital function in assisting and protecting our communities. Protecting these animals, who are in turn protecting us, is to be taken seriously.”

The law takes effect immediately.


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