HB23-1286 increases the fines for injuring or killing a law enforcement K-9
DENVER, CO – The House today passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Majority Leader Monica Duran and Representative Ryan Armagost that would increase fines for injuring or killing service animals, police K-9s and horses. HB23-1286 passed by a vote of 61 to 3.
“Police K-9s are valued members of the team that works to respond to tragedy and keep our communities safe,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “Our legislation makes it clear – if you severely injure or kill a service or police animal, you will face fines. Animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Colorado. We support our K-9 heroes, especially those recently lost in the line of duty, because they are valued members of our homes and families.”
HB23-1286 aims to increase fines for injuring, killing or displaying cruelty to service animals, certified police working dogs and horses. Under this legislation, there would be a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and a requirement to complete appropriate treatment programs for subsequent convictions of cruelty to animals. Additionally, under this legislation, there would be a $2,000 minimum fine for subsequent offenses of cruelty or aggravated cruelty against service animals, certified police working dogs and horses.
HB23-1286 would also order restitution be paid toward vet services or the governmental or police agency if a service animal,certified police working dog, or police working horse is killed or injured.
Police K-9s across the state provide crucial support to officers. In 2022, K-9 Jinx of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty. Earlier this year, K-9 Graffit, of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was killed in the line of duty.