A heroic police dog was nearly killed after first taking a 10-inch blade in the lung and then leaping to block a knife lunge aimed at the torso of his partner.
Finn the German Shepherd was an experienced British police dog at the time of the 2016 incident. He had tracked over 200 people, including murderers, rapists, burglars, missing persons, car thieves and assault suspects.
“It was his phenomenal tracking that really marked him out as a superhero” his handler, police constable Dave Wardell.Wardell wrote for MailOnline. “He once picked up a scent that was two hours old and managed to follow it to find a woman with dementia who had wandered from her care home.”
The two had been partners for seven years at the police precinct in Hertfordshire, UK, when a call came in on Oct. 5 of an armed robbery.
“A taxi driver had been robbed of his takings by a passenger. The driver had done the sensible thing—stopped the car, handed the money over, then run for his life,” Wardell wrote.
The duo spotted a suspect fitting the description and Wardell released the canine when the armed man ignored his order to stop. Finn grabbed hold of the man’s leg and in the tussle was stabbed.
“It was a knife—as thick as a ruler. It was ridiculously huge, like a hunting knife—the blade alone must have been 10in long,” Wardell wrote.
The suspect then reportedly lunged with the knife towards the officer. Finn intervened and was slashed in the head. Wardell’s hand was cut, but he managed to subdue the attacker by body slamming him into the ground.
“I was numb, exhausted and terrified. The vision of the knife, that flash of metal as it slid out of Finn’s chest. Then another flash as the suspect lunged a second time, aiming for my upper body, and Finn moving to protect me and blocking the weapon with his head,” Wardell wrote.
Finn was rushed to a vet for a life-saving surgery and, after a recovery that lasted several months, rejoined the force.
The man who stabbed Finn and slashed Wardell was sentenced to four months in jail. Wardell felt that the law failed to sufficiently protect dogs in the line of duty, so he has pushed for a change in legislation.
A new regulation, known as “Finn’s Law,” is expected to be passed soon.
Finn retired from active duty in 2017 and Wardell has written a book in tribute to his furry friend called “Fabulous Finn: The Brave Police Dog Who Was Stabbed And Came Back From The Brink.”
The book features an account of Finn’s memorable crime-fighting exploits.