Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–861. Harassing, interfering with, injuring, or obstructing a police animal.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Police animal” means a dog, horse, or other animal used by a law enforcement agency, correctional facility, police department, fire department, or search and rescue unit or agency for the purpose of aiding in the detection of criminal activity, enforcement of laws, apprehension of criminal offenders, or search and rescue efforts, whether or not the dog, horse, or other animal is engaged in the performance of its official duties when a violation of this section occurs.

(2) “Significant bodily injury” means an injury that requires hospitalization or immediate medical attention.

(b)(1) Any person who intentionally and without justifiable and excusable cause, harasses, interferes with, injures, or obstructs a police animal when he or she has reason to believe the animal is a police animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than 180 days or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(2) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this section and causes significant bodily injury to, or the death of, a police animal shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(3) The penalties set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall also apply to an owner or keeper of a dog or other animal who intentionally and without justifiable and excusable cause fails to restrain the dog or animal from attacking a police animal when the owner or keeper has reason to believe the animal is a police animal.


(Apr. 24, 2015, D.C. Law 20-242, § 2, 61 DCR 8312.)