|Posted:||February 4, 2014 03:55 PM|
|From:||Representative Dom Costa|
|To:||All House members|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses), § 5511.2 (Police Animals), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to provide for aggravating circumstances while a police animal is in the performance of their duty. Under my legislation, the offenses for cruelty to police animals would become “aggravated” when a person willfully or maliciously tortures, mutilates, injures, disables, poisons or kills a police animal while the animal is in the performance of their duty and would be graded as a felony of the first degree.
As you may be aware, Rocco – an 8-year-old German Shepherd canine officer with the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police – was fatally stabbed last week while apprehending a suspect. Under current law, such an offense would be graded as a felony of the third degree. My legislation would ensure a more severe penalty for criminal suspects who display such disregard toward law enforcement officers.
Every day, police dogs courageously serve an important purpose for many police departments and communities across this Commonwealth. Therefore, I urge you to join me in sending a strong message that police service animals should be regarded as equally as their human counterparts. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Thank you!
Introduced as HB2024