Currently, those accused of harming service animals are only charged with CRIMINAL DAMAGE
Thursday 15th June | by Cop(ex) | Follow us on Twitter @ES_Humour |
Attacking / assaulting a service animal could soon set to become an offence unto itself after Michael Gove gave the Government’s support to a bill implementing “Finn’s Law”.
The ‘Service Animals Offences Bill’ was inspired after an armed thug repeatedly stabbed Police Dog ‘Finn’ in the head and suspect after Finn gave chase following a robbery.
The Bill will be read in Parliament today (Friday 15th June) and has more of a chance of becoming law now that it has official backing from the Government.
The lesser charge of Criminal Damage is currently the only option available to the Police when one of their animals is attacked whilst ‘on duty’.
Service Dogs (and horses) are regular assaulted in the course of their duty, often sustained serious injuries as a result of the vital and often live-saving work which they undertake without question.
Finns Law would make it a specific criminal offence to attack a Police animal.
Announcing his backing, the environment secretary said: “This Bill will offer stronger protection for the many brave service animals that help to protect us.
“This Government is continuing to raise the bar on animal welfare, whether it be for our beloved pets, brave service animals or on farms.”
Brave Police Dog ‘Finn’ undoubtedly saved his handlers, PC Dave Wardle, life back in 2016 when they gave chase to a robbery suspect.
The armed suspect stabbed PC Wardle in the hand and stabbed Police Dog Finn in the head and chest as he tried to stop the suspect from fleeing.
While the suspect was only charged with actual bodily harm for his injuries to PC Dave Wardell, he was also only charged with criminal damage for almost killing Finn
This is because, in the eyes of the law, dogs are only considered as ‘property’.
The Bill, if passed, would amend a 2006 Animal Welfare Act to address concerns about defendants’ ability to claim they were justified in using physical force to protect themselves from a service animal.
Sir Oliver Heald, who tabled the bill, said he was “delighted” at receiving government support and was now looking forward to the legislation passing through parliament.
“This is a good day for all of our brave service animals,” said the North-East Hertfordshire MP.
As someone who served on the front line of Policing for nearly ten years with the Metropolitan Police and having an uncle who spent 20 years as a Police Dog handler, I am always in awe of the selfless bravery of service animals.
In particular, highly trained Police Dogs play a vital and integral part in the fight against hardened and violent criminals.
Police Dogs will not think twice about running into extreme danger – especially when cowardly criminals will do anything in order to try and run away.
We always hear way too often about Police Dogs and horses which have been attacked as they are expected to potentially give up their life in order to save the life of their handler or a member of the public.
Therefore it is only right that we give them the recognition which they so rightly deserve, by making it a specific offence to harm these majestic and brave animals.
Ask any Police Officer who has been at an incident where the services of a police dog or horse were needed and they will have no problem in telling you about just how truly amazing these animals are.
Police Dog Finn sustained horrendous injuries at the hands of a vile criminal. Were it not for Finn, then his handler almost certainly would have sustained even more serious injuries.
These criminals will do ANYTHING in order to run away from the repercussions of the crimes which they willfully commit.
If it wasn’t for the bravery of service animals such as PD Finn, then the Thin Blue Line would be even thinner.
We have a duty to ensure that our beloved service animals get the protection under law which they so truly deserve.
Written by one of the many Admins of Emergency Services Humour on Facebook, who is also a regular contributor in our popular fortnightly humour-filled digital magazine.
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