- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California laws that punish people who injure police horses and dogs in the line of duty now extend to volunteer law enforcement animals.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office announced Thursday he signed a bill authorizing up to a year in jail and fines for hurting and harassing animals that are helping law enforcement.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Pasadena Police Department are among the agencies with mounted volunteers patrolling for crime.

Republican Assemblyman Eric Linder of Corona says his bill, AB794, gives the animals the protection of California law their owners have. It only applies to volunteer animals working under direct police supervision.

The California Public Defenders Association says people shouldn’t be punished for getting entangled with untrained civilian animals.

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