MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley says a new state law provides important protection to police dogs and rescue dogs because they are like officers safeguarding the public. Bentley held a ceremonial bill signing for the legislation Wednesday at the Capitol. He was surrounded by dogs and handlers from the Homewood Police Department and the Autauga County Rescue Squad. The bill by Republican Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood passed on the Legislature's last meeting day May 20. DeMarco says Alabama had a law against killing a police dog, but nothing other than animal cruelty laws when a police or rescue dog was injured. The new law provides a range of penalties from a maximum of a year in jail for a minor injury to a maximum of 10 years for a serious injury.