INDIANAPOLIS | A person who injures or kills a police dog acting in the line of duty could be required to pay for the animal's medical treatment or its replacement cost under legislation approved by a House committee Wednesday.
State Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, is sponsor of House Bill 1093, which permits a judge to order a convicted criminal pay restitution to a police department for maiming or killing its dog.
"There are many dogs that lose their lives defending officers and also helping the citizens of our state," VanDenburgh said. "And it's a huge cost to citizens and local government."
VanDenburgh said the cost to replace a police dog is about $12,000.
Two Crown Point police dogs — Buddy and Radar — "testified" in support of VanDenburgh's proposal, along with their officer partners, Cpl. Jeff Eldridge and Officer Stanko Gligic, during the committee hearing.
The legislation now advances to the full House.