Senator Luetkemeyer’s “Max’s Law” Advances to House

Thursday, April 20, 2023

 Senator Luetkemeyer’s “Max’s Law” Advances to House  

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, to increase penalties for harming police K-9 officers has passed the Senate and awaits action by the House of Representatives. “Max’s Law” was inspired by the death of St. Joseph police canine in 2020.


Senator Tony Luetkemeyer listens as St. Joseph Police

Officer Lucas Winder testifies in support of legislation named in honor of his K-9 partner "Max,” who was killed while Winder served an arrest warrant in 2020.

Injuring a police dog to the point of requiring veterinary care will become a felony under Sen. Luetkemeyer’s legislation, while killing the animal could result in a prison sentence of up to seven years. Under current law, harming a K-9 officer carries no greater consequence than a property crime.


“The death of St. Joseph K-9 officer Max in the line of duty showed the inadequacy of current laws regarding police dogs,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “These animals dedicate their lives to protecting their human law enforcement partners and increasing public safety. Our laws should reflect the vital contribution K-9 officers make to law enforcement and our communities.”


As Senate Bill 189 progressed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, additional provisions related to criminal laws were added. The version of the bill committee chairman Sen. Luetkemeyer presented to the full Senate contained many of the consensus measures heard by the committee during the 2023 session.

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit