Local law enforcement praises bill protecting K9s


Police dogs will be protected under a new Florida bill.

Senior Life photo

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill May 1 that strengthens the penalties for those convicted of wanting to harm police K9s.

According to a release from the governor’s office, the penalties for “intentionally and knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to police canines or horses, fire canines or search and rescue canines” has been increased from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony.

Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer also expressed his support for the bill.

“Public safety K9s play a vital role in keeping people safe and preventing crime. I applaud the governor for putting public safety at the forefront and looking out for our furry heroes,” Schollmeyer said.

DeSantis added that he was excited to sign the bill.

“Like the officers they serve with, these animals are frequently placed in harm’s way for the safety of our communities and I was proud to sign this bill today that increases the penalty for harming them,” said DeSantis in a release.