Neglecting, abusing, or harming a dog, with the exception of self-defense, in any way is a despicable act and, appropriately, also illegal.

Read More: What is the Penalty for Animal Cruelty or Neglect in Colorado? |

It should go without saying that inflicting harm on a police dog, or K9 Unit, is an act that carries serious consequences and in Colorado, those penalties just became more serious in nature.

New Colorado Law Increases Severity for Harming a Police Dog

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill into law that effectively increases the penalty for harming a K9 Unit.

The bill, HB24-1074, has increased the penalty for harming a police dog from a misdemeanor to a Class-4 Felony that can carry a sentence of two to six years in prison upon conviction.

In addition, because of the high cost of training and caring for these animals, those convicted of the felony are also now responsible for any costs associated with an injured police dog's rehabilitation. In addition, if the police animal loses its life at the hands of the guilty party, the party will be held responsible for the cost of training a new K9 Unit which, as you can imagine, isn't exactly cheap.

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The law was inspired by Ronnie Hancock of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, a deputy whose K9 companion was unfortunately and tragically killed in the line of duty back in 2022.

While proponents of the bill see its passage as a step in the right direction, Hancock believes that the penalty for harming a police dog should be even more severe and continues to actively push for even more reform.


10 Ridiculous + Unbelievable Laws in Colorado Involving Animals

You’ve likely heard about many weird and/or stupid laws in Colorado, but these 10 laws involving animals are among the most ridiculous.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

NEXT UP: Crazy Old Colorado Laws That Are Still Enforced Today

We all know that we need laws and law enforcement to keep our communities civilized. But it's amazing how many outdated laws are still on the books across our beautiful country.

After looking at OutThere Colorado and Uncover Colorado I put together a list of ridiculous laws that are still in effect here in the state that we call home.

19 of the Silliest Laws on the Books In Colorado

The Centennial State is home to nineteen laws that may seem silly, stupid, or outdated, but they are still laws. Scroll through the gallery below to see Colorado's strangest laws that are still on the books today.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

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