Tom Hale was instrumental in creating and co-drafting legislation extending needed protection to Police K9 Dogs and Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR). Brought to light by his son, Rob, the enactment of the law now makes it a crime to commit additional offenses against a K9 Officer Dog or SAR Dog other than causing its death, the only sanction the law previously provided. Signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley on May 23, 2013, the Act now makes it a crime to harass, assault, injure or cause the death of a police or rescue animal and further provides for significant fines, penalties and restitution for each discrete violation.
Co-written with Debra Manasco, a legislation drafting specialist attorney in Montgomery, HB 259 was sponsored by Rep. Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood) and passed unanimously in the House of Representatives by vote of 98-0. With the strong support of Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia), HB 259 was passed by the Senate by vote of 24-6 on May 20, 2013 and immediately sent to Governor Bentley for his signature. The Law becomes effective August 1st, 2013.