HERTFORDSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM—Finn, the German Shepherd hero police dog who saved Police Constable Dave Wardell from a stabbing attack back in 2016, died at age 14.
A Facebook page dedicated to Finn confirmed the news of his passing. Part of the post read:
Our beautiful, brave, Hero Finn passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. He was so loved by everyone and will be missed incredibly… Thank you for your service Finn, now go and Rest in peace our sweet boy, until we meet again.
During a robbery incident in 2016, the teenage suspect turned in on Finn and PC Wardell with a hunting knife, stabbing the dog in the chest and head while his handler on the hand.
Despite the serious injuries, Finn didn't let go of the suspect until backup arrived.
There was no doubt for PC Wardell that then 7-year old Finn saved his life.
Because of his heroic act, Finn was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal—an award given to animals in the UK who showed bravery and devotion to their duty, and recognized as the animal equivalent of George Cross, the second highest award of the United Kingdom honors system.
Finn retired from service in 2018, at the age of 8.
The German Shepherd hero dog was also the inspiration behind the legislation of the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act of 2019, nicknamed as “Finn's Law.”
This law moves to get better protection on service dogs and horses, and prevents their potential attackers to plead “self-defense” as justification.
It was also coupled with the UK government's plan to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offenses to five years in prison.
In his retirement, Finn appeared in Britain's Got Talent in 2019 where he became a finalist for his magic tricks and mind-reading skills.
He was also the ambassador of the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, a national charity that supports police dogs and their families with medical assistance upon retirement.
There was no doubt that Finn lived a happy life in service of his country and people.
Run free, Finn!