As reported by, people who intentionally kill police dogs or dogs involved in search and rescue operations are now facing stiffer penalties in New Jersey.

Governor Chris Christie recently signed legislation that mandates minimum five-year prison terms, with no chance of parole, for such offenders, who also will face fines of up to $15,000. Previously, the maximum sentence they faced was just three to five years in prison.

The measure, named for a police dog killed in the line of duty last November, was overwhelmingly passed by the Assembly and Senate earlier this year. It then took effect immediately after Christie signed it late last month.  The legislation honors Schultz, a 3 ½ year old German Shepherd who served with the Gloucester Township police force.