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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 96 — Police, Fire, and Search and Rescue Dogs and Police Horses

by Rules Committee; Criminal Justice Committee; and Senators Bean, Hutson, Book, Wright, and Perry

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

The bill (Chapter 2019-9, L.O.F.) increases the penalty from a third degree felony to a second degree felony for intentionally and knowingly, without lawful cause or justification, causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or using a deadly weapon upon, a police, fire, or search and rescue (SAR) canine, or a police horse. The bill makes corresponding changes to the offense severity ranking chart.

The bill expands the definitions of police canine and SAR canine to include a canine that is owned, or the service of which is employed, by a correctional agency.

The bill also replaces the word “dog” with the word “canine” in ss. 767.16 and 843.19, F.S.

These provisions were approved by the Governor and take effect October 1, 2019.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 116-0