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Law strengthening penalty for those who kill police animals heads to South Carolina Senate floor

Jan 26

COLUMBIA, SC — A bill that could double the penalty for those who injure or kill a police dog or horse sailed through a panel Thursday morning and is headed for discussion on the Senate floor.

The bill, Hyco's Law, would increase the maximum prison sentence for torturing, mutilating, injuring, disabling, poisoning or killing a police dog or horse from five years to 10. It also would increase the maximum fine from $5,000 to $10,000.

Camden Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who chaired a subcommittee on the bill last week, said the goal is to leave sentencing discretion with judges but increase the available penalty.

"This life, this presence, this K-9 officer still is protecting and preserving the life of the officer," said Agriculture and Natural Resources Chairman Danny Verdin, R-Laurens. "There’s multiple components for us to, I believe, bring this enhanced penalty."

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