Police dog Finn was stabbed multiple times in his head and chest while performing his duty and protecting his handler. He was badly hurt, but he survived and has just returned to work where he will continue working to protect the public.
Yet, as it stands, the law doesn't recognise the bravery of animals like Finn. Police support animals are classed as 'property', meaning that people who harm them can only be charged with criminal damage, not assault, and often receive inadequate sentences.
The thousands of animals up and down the country who work in police services are far more than 'property'. They're intelligent, sentient, highly-trained team members, who often put their lives on the line.
IFAW is supporting the campaign for 'Finn's Law'. Join us!
Urge your MP to get behind greater protection for police dogs and other emergency service animals.
Letter subject line: Please support Finn's Law to protect police support animals
Police and other emergency service animals perform an exceptional duty of care, helping to protect the public on a daily basis. But the current law and sentencing guidelines do not adequately recognise these animals' bravery.
Following a violent attack on police dog Finn in October 2016, in which he was stabbed in the head and chest while protecting his handler, I am writing to ask you to support 'Finn's Law', which would amend the law so that emergency service animals are no longer classed as 'property', and also introduce tougher sentencing guidelines for anyone who deliberately harms these animals.
A precedent was perhaps set when the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014) secured penalties of up to three years' imprisonment for those who allowed their dog to attack an assistance dog, redefining such incidents as an "aggravated offence&". Similar legislation for police support animals is long overdue.
There is huge public support for offering greater protection to animals like Finn. A Government e-petition has received nearly 124,000 signatures, and has already been debated in the House of Commons.
Please will you write to Brandon Lewis, Minister of State at the Home Office, and urge him to introduce new legislation to protect police support animals who put their safety on the line to perform their duty?