Finn‘s Law: Stabbed police dog law passed by Lords

The House of Lords has passed a law giving protection to service dogs and horses after a campaign by the handler of a police dog which was stabbed.

German shepherd Finn, who inspired the law, was in the public gallery and barked as the bill was passed.

The new legislation, which is awaiting royal assent, means causing unnecessary suffering to a service animal will be an offence in England and Wales.

Finn‘s handler PC Dave Wardell said it was “amazing achievement”.

PC Wardell and Finn were both suspected of robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in 2016.

Finn was stabbed in the chest and head, but did not let go until reinforcements arrived. He was initially thought unlikely to survive.

PC Wardell, who was knifed in the hand, credited Finn for saving his life.

But while the suspect was charged with actual bodily harm in relation to wounds to PC Wardell‘s hand, he faced only criminal damage charges over the injuries to Finn.

Since then the police officer has been campaigning for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

MP for North East Hertfordshire Sir Oliver Heald was given permission to bring in the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill in 2017.


“Finn has attended every stage of the bill and has been very well behaved, but I think he was entitled to his bark as the bill passed the House of Lords.”