A policeman with his police dog

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Mo. Senate Votes Down Penalty Increase for Assaulting Police Dogs

February 14, 2018 - 9:29 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A bill that would have made assaulting or killing police dogs a felony is defeated in the Missouri House of Representatives. 

Supporters of the bill said police dogs are a part of the community and assaulting them should carry more of a penalty than failing to return a library book. 

State Rep. Robert Cornejo sponsored the bill. 

"Even if you treat it as property, with the tens of thousands of dollars that are invested in this property, I don't think that the punishment should be the same as failing to return a library book that's worth $10. I think this is something that is right-sizing the punishment," he says. 

But opponents, like State Rep. Shamed Dogan, say it takes away a person's right of self-defense.

"This piece of legislation does not allow me to stand my ground against a police dog. If I'm being charged at by a police dog, then that right just goes away, and I have to take whatever that dog is going to give me," Dogan says. 

The bill fell nine votes short to pass to the Senate. But, there were 14 members absent, so it could be brought up again in the future.