Stabbed hero police dog and Britain

A hero police dog who was stabbed saving his handler and went on to have a law named after him, aimed at giving service animals greater protection from attack, has died peacefully in his sleep aged 14.

In retirement, Finn had also won the hearts of the nation as a Britain’s Got Talent finalist.

The “huge legacy” left by the canine champion has been hailed following his death.

The German Shepherd is credited with saving the life of PC Dave Wardell, from Hertfordshire, when a robbery suspect turned on them with a hunting knife in 2016.

While the officer received an injury to his hand, the dog suffered serious stab wounds to the chest and head but did not let go until back-up arrived, and was initially thought unlikely to survive.

But Finn recovered and returned to duty, before retiring in 2017.

A message posted on Facebook on Friday on behalf of Mr Wardell read: “Our beautiful, brave, Hero Finn passed away peacefully in his sleep last night.

“He was so loved by everyone and will be missed incredibly.”

It added: “Thank you for your service Finn, now go and rest in peace our sweet boy, until we meet again.”

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Police dog Finn, who received the PDSA Gold Medal after being brutally stabbed in the line of duty, with his handler PC Dave Wardell

Image: Finn pictured with his handler PC Dave Wardell in 2018

For his bravery, Finn was honoured with the PDSA Gold Medal, which is known as the animals’ George Cross.

But legislation at the time meant only criminal damage charges could be brought over the injuries to Finn.

He was involved in the campaign that led to the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019.

Nicknamed Finn’s Law, it moved to close a loophole which meant service animals including police dogs and horses were treated as force property, which limited the charges that could be brought against offenders who injured them.

Finn was at Westminster to bark his approval when it cleared Parliament.

The dog also appeared in the 2019 series of BGT, alongside Mr Wardell, where he wowed the judges with his magic tricks and mind-reading skills.

The pair also managed to reach the final of this year's Britain's Got Talent

Image: The pair also appeared in Britain’s Got Talent

Finn was also an ambassador for the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, a national charity that supports police dogs.

Trustee Kieran Stanbridge said it had been “an honour” to work alongside him as he helped raise awareness of the medical problems and costs facing retired service animals and their families.

He added: “We will miss him immensely. Our thoughts are with Finn’s family at this very difficult time.

“Finn, your legacy will live on, may you stand down with pride.”

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