PC Dave Wardell from Stevenage Hertfordshire in England responded to a robbery call with his German Shepherd, Finn.
Although Finn and Wardell had apprehended offenders hundreds of times before, this time went terribly wrong.
In the rush of the take down, the suspect pulled out a knife and Wardell was stabbed in the hand. To protect his partner, Finn lunged at the attacker. In the struggle, he was stabbed in the head and chest.
"He was taking down an offender as he has done hundreds of times," Wardell told BBC, "and, in the blink of an eye, everything changed."
"Finn was stabbed trying to protect me," PC Wardell said. "He got it first."
Officer Wardell rushed his partner to the vet, who performed emergency surgery to save Finn's life. Despite his injuries, Wardell stayed by Finn's side until he was forced to go tot the hospital for his own injuries.
The two have been virtually inseparable since Finn was assigned to Wardell at just nine months old.
"The bond between a handler and his dogs is second to none," said Wardell. "Seeing my partner stabbed was one of the worst days of my life."
Finn remained at the vet for four days before returning home with Wardell's family.
According to Wardell, Pearl, a Spaniel sniffer dog, who shares a kennel with Finn "has been missing him lots." Given the extent of his injuries, Finn has been taken off of duty while he recovers. He is allowed out for short walks and to visit with Pearl, but it could still take several more weeks before vets sign a clean bill of health.
A petition has been set up on the UK government's petition sight calling for police animals to "be given protection that reflects their status if assaulted in the line of duty." So far, the petition has over 67,000 signatures.
In the United States, it is a federal offense to purposely assault, maim, or kill federal law enforcement animals such as police dogs and horses. If found guilty, the attacker could be fined at least $1,000 and spend up to 10 years in prison.
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