House Bill No. 215
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act expanding the definition of police dog to include dogs trained for search and rescue and tracking that are used in conjunction with official law enforcement efforts; imposing a penalty for intentionally harming a search and rescue or tracking dog that is used in conjunction with official law enforcement efforts; and amending section
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 45-8-209, MCA, is amended to read:
"45-8-209. Harming a police dog -- penalty -- definition. (1) A person commits the offense of harming a police dog if
he the person purposely or knowingly shoots, kills, or otherwise injures or mistreats a police dog being used by a:
(a) law enforcement officer in discharging or attempting to discharge
any a legal duty in a reasonable and proper manner;
(b) private citizen in a reasonable and proper manner in conjunction with official law enforcement efforts, such as search and rescue, or criminal investigations.
(2) A person convicted of the offense of harming a police dog may be fined an amount not to exceed $5,000 or be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 1 year, or both.
(3) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Law enforcement officer" means a person who is a peace officer as defined in 46-1-202.
(b) "Police dog" means a dog that is:
(i)(A) used by a law enforcement agency, as defined in 7-32-201, in the exercise of its authority;
(ii)(B) specifically trained for law enforcement work; and (iii)(C) under the control of a law enforcement officer;
(ii) specifically trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or human-caused disasters, and human bodies and that is used in conjunction with official law enforcement efforts, such as search and rescue, or criminal investigations; or
(iii) specifically trained to track or pursue missing persons, escaped inmates, or fleeing felons and that is used in conjunction with official law enforcement efforts, such as search and rescue, or criminal investigations."