Quanto's Law would offer more protection for service dogs and horses
Published Monday, May 12, 2014 7:42AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 12, 2014 6:31PM EDT
The federal government introduced Monday new legislation to provide more protection for police dogs and horses and other service animals.
The new bill is being called Quanto's Law in honour of an Edmonton police dog that was stabbed to death during a police chase last October. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement during a visit to Edmonton Monday.
The man responsible for Quanto’s death, Paul Joseph Vukmanich, was sentenced to 26 months in prison last February after pleading guilty to six charges, including fatally stabbing the dog.
After Quanto’s killing, concerns were raised over the charges that can be laid against those who harm or kill service animals. The only applicable charge in such cases is animal cruelty.
During the fall throne speech, the federal government pledged to introduce new legislation to protect police animals.
The proposed legislation would create “a new offence specifically prohibiting the injuring or killing of animals trained and being used to help law enforcement officers, persons with disabilities or the Canadian Armed Forces,” according to a news release from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Those convicted of such an offence could face up to five years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of six months.
Cliff Samson, the former president of the Canadian Police Canine Association, welcomed Quanto’s Law, saying it recognizes service animals’ contributions and sacrifices.
“It really hits home to make police service dogs a value in society, being recognized by the Criminal Code of Canada,” he told CTV’s Power Play.