State Rep. Thomas Murt, whose district includes Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County, has co-sponsored legislation to increase the penalty for those who cause the death of a police animal that is deemed to have been killed in the line of duty.
ldquo;The legislation, which will be known as ‘Rocco’s Law,’ is being introduced in response to the death of Rocco, an 8-year-old German shepherd that served alongside a Pittsburgh police officer,” Murt said.
Rocco, a City of Pittsburgh police dog, recently died after he was stabbed while helping to apprehend a suspect.
Under current law, injuring or torturing a police animal is a felony of the third degree. The new legislation would place the penalty for killing a police animal on equal footing with killing a human law enforcement officer.
“Police animals may not be humans, but they are undeniably considered by most to be fellow law enforcement officers,” Murt said. “They receive extensive training and risk their lives to protect and serve our communities. Those who intentionally or recklessly take the life of a police animal should face a harsher penalty.” ••