By Brad Segall

By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The three police dogs attached to the Montgomery County sheriff’s department are now proud to show off their new law enforcement badges, which better identify them as members of the K-9 corps.

County officials say the gold shields are just another level of safety for the dogs in case they get separated from their handlers during an incident or investigation.

That goes hand-in-hand with a new law in Pennsylvania that recognizes police dogs as partners, not just equipment or property.

“They are just like a human partner,” says Montgomery County sheriff Russell Bono.  “They’re there, they go out every day, they put their life on the line.  They would die for their handler.”

The new law, dubbed “Rocco’s Law,” was signed by Governor Corbett last month after the fatal stabbing earlier this year of a police dog in the line of duty in Pittsburgh.   The measure carries a maximum penalty of ten years in jail for hurting or killing a police dog.  Bono says the badges clearly identify the K9s.

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