Eastleigh's MP Mims Davies has backed a bill going through Parliament, which means service animals will have legal protection for the first time.
Currently someone who attacks an animal such as a police dog can only be charged with criminal damage, but the new bill means attacks on service animals will be considered an offence.
Mims Davies says hundreds of people in the Eastleigh Borough have supported the campaign - and says the bill has moved a step further to being written into law:
“I have had hundreds of constituents support this campaign, and write to me asking me to do the same. As a dog owner myself, I was really shocked to learn that currently someone that attacks a service animal can only be charged with criminal damage – the same as if the animal were a piece of kit like a police radio.
“This law will change that, ensuring that someone that attacks a police animal will have committed an offence, and will be dealt with accordingly. At the same time, I welcome that the Government has promised to put the sentencing up.
“The dog that this law has been named after, Finn, was in Parliament today, and watched from the House of Commons Gallery – not at all distracting! – as this key Bill moved a step further to being written in to law.”
Fair Oak Councillor Steve Broomfield, who previously managed the Blue Cross animal charity’s flagship animal hospital, added:
"This is excellent news. In my time at Blue Cross I saw both dogs and horses which had been injured in the course of protecting us and their patient and willing service to humans demands that human law fully cares for them too!"