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Police Dogs And Horses To Be Protected By Law From Saturday After Officer's Campaign

Police Dogs And Horses To Be Protected By Law From Saturday After Officer's Campaign

In news which feels well over-due, it will now be a criminal offence to injure a police dog or horse from Saturday as a result of one officer's tireless campaign.

Finn's Law will close a legal loophole when it comes into effect this weekend, which previously meant these animals were treated as the police force's property.

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Because of the loophole, criminals who hurt police horses and dogs managed to get away with lighter sentences.

Credit: ITV2
Credit: ITV2

The law is amed after ex-service dog Finn, who almost died when he was stabbed through the head and chest in 2016 while protecting his handler, PC David Wardell.

The Finn's Law website explains: "On 5th October 2016, Police Dog Finn was viciously stabbed on duty with a 10 inch hunting knife while detaining a robbery suspect.

"Although Finn had sustained life threatening injuries from the first attack, he bravely dived in front of the second thrust, aimed directly for PC Dave Wardell, his handler and dad.

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Credit: Finn's Law
Credit: Finn's Law

"Finn saved his dad's life. However, the second slash with the knife caused another horrific wound to his head. Finn was bleeding profusely. Finn survived, just. Little did they know their journey had just begun..."

The 16-year-old perpetrator who hurt Finn was just charged with criminal damage, because of the previous law.

He was sentenced to just four months in a detention centre and received a four month community order.

This understandably saw public outcry and prompted PC Wardell to tirelessly campaign to protect service dogs and horses in the line of duty in the future in England and Wales.

Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Defendants will no longer be able to claim self-defence if they injure a service animal, under the law which is an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act.

Finn's Law was passed in parliament in April this year, before moving in the House Commons and was then given Royal Assent by the Queen.

David said: "This has been an incredible but testing journey, however it has been such a joy to be a part of, we have met people from all walks of life with a common interest, to ensure police animals are protected while serving their community."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The officer, who starred on Britain's Got Talent with his dog this year, added: "Finn has attended every single stage at Parliament and is quite a feature there now. He has made many friends throughout this journey and I'm sure he won't forget a single one.

"I'm proud of my best friend, he has certainly gone down in history.

"He has turned such a horrendous event into something so positive, his legacy will never be forgotten by his furry colleagues."

On behalf of everyone, thank you David and Finn.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Life News

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion and Beauty Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - rachel.andrews@pretty52.com

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