Killing police K-9s in Florida will earn longer prison term

People who kill or seriously injure police dogs in Florida will now face tougher penalties.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday making the crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It was previously a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Republican Sen. Aaron Bean has said his bill was inspired by the shooting death of a K-9 named Fang in Jacksonville last year. The 3-year-old German shepherd was killed as police chased a 17-year-old carjacking suspect.

In March, photos of St. Petersburg police K-9 Titan went viral after he was shot by a suspect fleeing a traffic stop. The department says he's doing great.

The increased penalties would also apply to anyone who seriously injures or kills a police horse or canines used by fire departments and search and rescue teams.

RELATED: K-9 Titan recovering after being shot by suspect in St. Petersburg