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White House Fence Jumper Charged with Felony for Dog Assaults

A man who jumped over the White House fence Wednesday night is facing felony charges for assaulting two Secret Service canine officers. The charges fall under the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act of 2000.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, has issued the following statement:

“This person didn’t just illegally enter White House grounds—he attempted to seriously injure two law enforcement animals doing their duty. We support his prosecution under the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act, and hope that a conviction and prison sentence deters other would-be criminals from hurting dogs or horses doing their work to protect our country.”

The HSUS worked with former U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois and Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona to pass the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act to protect the many animals working in law enforcement. President Clinton signed the legislation in August 2000.

The Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act makes it a federal felony to kill or inflict serious bodily injury on any federal police dog or horse. This act mirrors the laws of most states that treat the assault of a police animal as an assault on their human companion officers. Penalties range from one to ten years in prison.

There are thousands of dogs and horses doing law enforcement work every day – from apprehending people committing a crime to controlling crowds to bomb sniffing to narcotics detection – for a wide variety of federal agencies.


Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, stwining@humanesociety.org, 301-258-1491