‘Finn’s Law’ is a new legislation to protect service animals such as dogs and horses. The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, also known as ‘Finn’s Law’, will prevent those who attack or injure service animals from claiming self-defence. The law is named after Finn, a police dog who was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect with his handler PC Dave Wardell. Finn sustained serious stab wounds to the chest and head, but only criminal damage charges could be bought against his attacker. This new legislation makes sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly – and the first prosecution under this new Bill happened in Staffordshire.
On the 24th October I was invited to Staffordshire Police Headquarters to meet the dog handling team and learn more about what this Bill means for both the dogs and their handlers. I had the pleasure of handing out new dog collars to the team, who also put on an impressive display for all the visitors.
I was lucky enough to have a tour of the armoury and the Information Hub, which is the base for police intelligence for organised crime, before having lunch with Chief Constable, Gareth Morgan, during which we discussed crime prevention in our county.
As a dog owner, I was extremely moved when I heard Finn’s story. But the work that has been done to ensure charges are brought against anyone who harms these amazing service animals – and are as much a part of the team as any police officer – is fantastic.
I would like to thank Staffordshire Police for the tour and to everyone – both two and four legged – who continue to keep our county safe for us all.