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Police Dog Stabbing Prompts Finn's Law Campaign To Change Status Of Police Dogs And Horses

Petition calls for people who attack police animals to face tougher penalties.

13/10/2016 11:50 | Updated 13 October 2016

Thousands of people are backing a campaign to give police dogs and horses the same status as police officers in the UK.

More than 36,000 people had signed the online petition by Thursday lunchtime - just three days after it was created.

The Finn’s Law campaign comes after a police dog in Hertfordshire was stabbed in the head and chest.

German shepherd Finn was with his handler, PC Dave Wardell, who received a hand injury as they pursued a suspect in Stevenage on October 5.

BCH Police Dogs
Police dog Finn is recovering after being stabbed in the head and chest in Stevenage.

Seriously injured Finn underwent emergency surgery and is now recovering. 

A teenager has been charged with criminal damage over the dog attack.

The petition, which is quickly gaining momentum, wants people who attack police animals to face similar charges to those who attack a police officer.

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Vajzovic, head of the Joint Protected Services for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, supports the Finn’s Law campaign.

He said: “We have been overwhelmed by the public support for police dog Finn and his handler PC David Wardell and thank everyone for their well wishes.

“We are continuing to support PC Wardell and it is very gratifying to know the public are also showing their support.

“Anything to help promote the safety of members of the police family should be looked at positively, however ultimately the decision on legislative change is a matter for the government.

“Were there to be a proposal for legislative change I would support legislation that offered an effective mechanism for reducing the likelihood of officers and their police dogs being subject to assault and injury.”

The petition was created by David Burstow on the government’s petition website.

The petition proposes: “That UK police dogs and horses be given protection that reflects their status if assaulted in the line of duty.

“This would be similar to the US Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection.”

At least 100,000 people would need to sign the petition for the issue to be considered for debate in parliament.

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