A fundraising appeal to create a memorial statue in tribute to a retired police dog, who helped change the law to protect service animals after he was stabbed in the line of duty protecting his handler, has reached its target.

Police dog Finn died last month, aged 14.

Finn was stabbed in the head and chest by a suspect when he and his handler, PC Dave Wardell, were called to reports of a robbery in Stevenage in 2016, but the German shepherd detained the teenager undeterred.

Finn almost died from his injuries, but miraculously recovered and returned to active duty 11 weeks later, retiring in March 2017.


PC Wardell and Finn went on to campaign for Finn's Law, which came into force in 2019 as an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, making it harder for people who harm service animals to claim self-defence.

In 2021, the pair successfully campaigned to increase the maximum sentence for cruelty to animals from six months to five years.


Following Finn's death, the Thin Blue Paw Foundation - a charity supporting serving and retired police dogs from across the UK - began fundraising to create a memorial statue in his honour. The £40,000 target has now been reached.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "We are extremely grateful to everyone who has donated and enabled us to raise this extraordinary amount in memory of RPD Finn, who was not only a heroic police dog, but a law changer, with Finn's Law now giving current and future police dogs the protection they so very much deserve.

"Finn's memorial will not only pay tribute to his heroic service and life, but it will also commemorate the lives of UK police dogs past, present and future, with special memorial plaques around the base of the statue, with their names inscribed."


PC Wardell said: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"Since Finn passed, I have been completely lost and struggling to cope. The thought of finding a way to help keep Finn’s legacy and story alive has kept me going.

"Finn’s story is incredible. He is one in a billion. His story and his legacy deserve to live on beyond my years.

"I hope Finn’s memorial brings people comfort and pleasure for many generations. Let’s keep his legacy alive."

Further details regarding the memorial, including the sculptor, location and unveiling will be released by the Thin Blue Paw Foundation over the coming months.