A South Carolina legislator is proposing a bill that would enhance the punishment for killing a police dog after the highly publicized death of the Richland County police dog named “Fargo.”
Rep. Harry “Chip” Limehouse (R-Charleston) is sponsoring the bill. He says he believes police dogs are on the front line of public safety.
“It was 5 years in prison for killing a police dog. We’ve moved it to 25 years. And it was like a $2,000 fine. We’ve moved it to a $25,000 fine,” says Limehouse.
As of now, it is a misdemeanor to kill any dog other than a police dog, a recent Charleston case prompted Limehouse to add service dogs for the handicapped into the legislation as well.
“We had a young girl in Moncks Corner who had a pit bull who was her companion dog. She was autistic. And somebody stole her dog and killed it with a baseball bat and then dumped it in her front yard.”
Limehouse, along with other lawmakers, have pre-filed bills that they hope will be addressed when the session meets again on January 10th, 2012.
South Carolina Radio Network’s Ashley Byrd and Tripp Girardeau contributed to this report