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State lawmakers back police dog restitution bill

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana legislators are backing a proposal that would force anyone convicted of killing or permanently disabling a police dog to pay the cost of replacing the animal.

The Senate voted 42-7 on Tuesday to approve a bill similar to one that the House unanimously backed last month.

The bill’s supporters say police departments face spending up to $12,000 to buy and train a dog and that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay to replace one lost because of a criminal act.

Current law makes it a felony punishable by six months to three years in prison to kill or badly injure a police dog, but judges have the option of whether to order the payment of reimbursement cost.

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