Governor Ron DeSantis signs legislation to increase criminal penalties for crimes committed against Police K-9s

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 1047 to increase criminal penalties for harming, harassing, or willfully resisting an animal working with police officers, firefighters, or search and rescue teams.

“Florida’s K-9s play heroic roles in responding to emergencies, apprehending criminals, and keeping our communities safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, back-the-blue includes supporting our K-9s that fearlessly protect their handlers and use their unique skills to help people in ways that humans cannot. If criminals choose to intentionally harm these animals, the penalties must be harsh.”

HB 1047 increases the criminal penalty for maliciously touching, striking, or causing bodily harm to a police, fire, or search and rescue canine or police horse from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. The bill also increases from a second- to a first-degree misdemeanor the penalty for maliciously harassing, teasing, or interfering with a police, fire, or search and rescue canine or police horse.

HB 1047 also makes it a third-degree felony to resist, obstruct, oppose, or threaten violence against a police canine or horse working together with an officer.

This bill builds on legislation signed by the Governor in 2019 that raised the crime of harming or killing a police K-9 or horse to a second-degree felony. In 2021, the Governor also signed legislation to allow emergency service vehicles to transport injured police canines to a veterinary clinic to ensure they receive quick medical attention.

  • Who else feels a little selfish in wishing RD stays as our governor and doesn’t win POTUS?

  • Good ole Ronnie signing one bill after another. Does anyone remember him signing this much legislation in his 4 previous years as Governor?
    Didn’t think so. All of this photo op, bill signing is nothing but advertisement that he wants YOUR vote for President.
    If you are a supporter of the 2nd amendment, has good ole Ronnie done you any favors?
    If you call a half arse bill to do away with CCW permits looking out for us.
    He can’t be trusted folks.

    • 100% right. Too bad that all this grandstanding and pushing out trifling legislation won’t go over well with the rest of the country and he’ll never be president.

    • He just signs what is passed by the state legislature. He might make a good VP for Trump. I’d sure as heck rather have DeSantis as president over Romney, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Christie, etc.

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