Hero police dog's law could soon come into force

A new law named after a hero police dog from Hertfordshire could soon become a reality.

The Animal Welfare Bill - also known as Finn's Law - passed its third reading in the House of Lords. It will now go forward for royal assent.

Finn is credited with saving the life of Pc Dave Wardell when a robbery suspect in Stevenage turned on them with a knife in 2016.

The dog suffered serious stab wounds to the chest and head, but did not let go until back-up arrived, and he was initially thought unlikely to survive.

However, only criminal damage charges could be brought against the accused over the injuries to Finn.

Pc Dave Wardell and police dog Finn. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Finn's Law closes a loophole which means service animals, including police dogs and horses, are treated as force property.

Conservative peer Viscount Trenchard, who took the backbench bill through the upper chamber, said: "The Bill will make it easier to prosecute people who are suspected of causing unnecessary suffering to service animals, chiefly police dogs and horses, and dogs working for the Prison Service."

Finn's Law passed its third reading in the House of Lords. Credit: ITV News Anglia