FEARLESS police dog, Finn, visited Parliament last week to see the Bill in his name passed by MPs.
Finn saved the life of his handler, PC Wardell at an incident in Hertfordshire in 2016. A robbery suspect turned on them with a knife, Finn was stabbed in the chest and head and was not expected to survive.
A 16-year-old boy was sentenced to eight months’ detention for the offence of criminal damage – the only offence which at the time fit the incident.
The proposed legislation will remove a section of the current law of self-defence, often used by those who harm a service animal.
This change, coupled with the government’s plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.
The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, better known as Finn’s Law, achieved approval from MPs and now will see a further debate in the House of Lords.
Christopher Pincher MP said:
“Finn’s visit to Parliament to see MPs was a stark reminder of the selfless service dogs like Finn make and why we need to better protect their status. Having met Finn before the Commons debate, I was delighted to see it pass and move onto further debate in the Lords.
“Finn was prepared to sacrifice his life to protect his partner, this legislation will give our service dogs the legal recognition they deserve. And he seemed pleased with all the attention he got – even from politicians!”
Speaking on the same issue earlier this month, Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime welcomed the Government’s backing of a new law.
Mr Ellis said:
“I am delighted that Finn’s Law has passed another hurdle thanks to all the supporters who have campaigned for service animals to be given greater protection”