A Suffolk police dog who nearly died when cruelly knifed has been highlighted as a reasons why a new law protecting animals in service has won widespread support.
Finn’s Law, named after a canine in Stevenage who was wounded when stabbed on duty, has been passed by MPs to prevent attackers making self-defence claims.
In a parliamentary debate which led to the law being passed in the House of Commons, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge highlighted the bravery of German Shepherd Aman – who similarly put his life on the line to protect handler Pc Steve Jay in 2011.
Mr Cartlidge said the case was “not too dissimilar” to that of Finn, recalling how Aman “was stabbed as he attempted to stop an armed man who had stabbed a person after breaking into a home and trying to avoid capture”.
Pc Jay was also injured in the attack but, less than four weeks later, both were back at work.
Mr Cartlidge continued: “So excellent was the performance and so vital the role played by Aman in effectively saving a life that he was given the police dog action and humanitarian action of the year award at Crufts — a very special award.
“In November 2011, the pair were together presented with a special recognition gong during the Stars of Suffolk Awards.”
Mr Cartlidge added that there was “huge support” for the new bill, saying it: “Embodies a very noble principle of supporting those who protect us.
“We usually think of people but today it is about animals, and animals that are performing an incredible service day in, day out.”
He also read a tribute in parliament from outgoing Suffolk police chief constable Gareth Wilson.
Mr Wilson said that police dogs like Aman – who died last year after a battle with a degenerative condition – “truly are a pleasure to watch working — well, unless you are a criminal running away from a crime scene, then it must be pretty frightening!”
Mr Wilson added: “We often talk about the ‘police family’ and we naturally think about police officers, PCSOs, Specials and volunteers — but we also mustn’t forget our police dogs who play a key operational role and with their handlers provide a really important service to the force.”