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."