By GUY FLETCHER
ANNAPOLIS - For police dogs, the work is hard, the pay is lousy and the risks are many.
"The only reward that the dog asks for in any type of apprehension is a pat on the back," said Maryland State Police Sgt. Steven McCarty, who was a canine officer at the Hagerstown barracks for the past three years.
McCarty testified before a state Senate committee Thursday in favor of legislation that would make it illegal to kill, taunt or interfere with a police dog or police horse.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, would make killing a police animal a felony. Conviction on such a charge would carry a penalty of up to a five years in prison and a $7,000 fine. Taunting or interfering with the animals would be a misdemeanor offense, with the maximum penalty of a year in prison and a $500 fine.