Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK — When PC Dave Wardell and his canine partner, Finn, were called in to apprehend a robbery suspect earlier this month, things turned violent and a knife was brandished.
Officer Wardell was fortunate, suffering only a stab wound to the hand, but Finn took the brunt of it.
“Finn was stabbed trying to protect me,” Wardell told the BBC. “He got it first…. He was taking down an offender as he has done hundreds of times, and in the blink of an eye everything changed.”
Finn was rushed to a vet who performed life-saving surgery.
“I stayed until they made me go to hospital then I came back,” PC Wardell said. “The bond between a handler and his dogs is second to none. Seeing my partner stabbed was one of the worst days of my life.”
After four days in the hospital, Finn was able to return home. He lives with the Wardell family and his spaniel fur sibling, Pearl. She, too, works for the police as a detection dog, a less dangerous but no less useful job. She missed him while he was gone.
Wardell says that Finn is doing well and “being very cheeky…. He found some treats, ripped open the packet and ate the lot.”
Right now, Finn is allowed on short walks. Wardell says he can’t understand why he can’t go out and work. The stitches will come out soon, but vets will have to clear him before he can return to the job.
A 16-year-old boy from southeast London has been charged with assaulting an officer and with criminal damage.
Following the charge, a petition was set up on the UK government’s petition site, proposing that police animals “be given protection that reflects their status if assaulted in the line of duty”. Should it pass, it will be known as “Finn’s Law.”
At press time it already had tens of thousands of signatures.