K-9 protections bill clears House committee

A bill that would create harsher penalties for criminals who kill or seriously harm police K-9's cleared its first House committee Wednesday.

Sponsor Josie Tomkow says the legislation comes in response to the police K-9 named fang that was killed in Jacksonville late last year, "he was a 3-year-old bomb detector and patrol dog with the Jacksonville sheriff's office. Fang was the 98th police dog killed in the line of duty in the past four years across the country and the second police dog killed in our area in four years."

Currently, the crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison or a five thousand dollar fine.

If passed, criminals would face up to 15 years in prison and a ten thousand dollar fine.