A police dog, often referred to as a "K-9" (which is a homophone of canine) in some areas, is a dog that is trained specifically to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel in their work. The most commonly used breed is the German Shepherd, although now Belgian Malinois are also fairly popular dogs to use.
In many jurisdictions the intentional injuring or killing of a police dog is a felony subjecting the perpetrator to harsher penalties than those in the statutes embodied in local animal cruelty laws, just as an assault on a human police officer is often a more serious offense than the same assault on a non-officer. A growing number of law-enforcement organizations outfit dogs with ballistic vests, and some make the dogs sworn officers, with their own police badges and IDs. Furthermore, a police dog killed in the line of duty is often given a full police funeral.
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