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Honor guard members carry Tanja's remains from the building after a memorial service for the Walker County K-9 deputy at the Walker County Civic Center in this June 20, 2014, photo.
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Senate Bill 72, "Tanja's Law."

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Georgia Senate Bill 72, which sets new punishments for killing or harming a law enforcement animal, has passed the state Senate and will be considered in the House.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, would make intentionally causing the death of a law enforcement animal a felony punishable with a sentence ranging from 18 months to five years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

The original version of the bill would have allowed law enforcement officers to charge someone with second-degree murder for killing a working police dog.

"Not only does it take a great deal of resources to train a police animal, but it also takes a great deal of time for the handler to train the animal; this often results in a unique bond between the twe," Mullis said in a statement,. "This legislation seeks to help lessen the loss by recognizing the importance of police animals and providing restitution to the police departments."

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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