Photo by John Johnston, Ace K9.

Photo by John Johnston, Ace K9.

Police dogs and search and rescue dogs joined Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday for a ceremonial signing of a bill that makes it a crime to injure or interfere with a police dog, a search and rescue dog, or their handlers.

The law makes it a misdemeanor to harass or interfere with a police or search and rescue dog in the performance of its duties. Harassment could include distracting a dog by shouting, throwing an object, shining a flashlight or tossing out food.

Causing an injury that takes the dog out of service for no more than 30 days is also a misdemeanor. To seriously injure, steal or kill a police dog or search and rescue dog is a Class C felony under the new law, punishable by 1-10 years in prison.

Read the full AL.com story.

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