Teen convicted of police dog attack in 'first successful prosecution of its kind in West Yorkshire'

Police dog Zero Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A teenager who kicked a police dog in the face in a "nasty attack" has been convicted in what's believed to be the first prosecution of its kind in West Yorkshire.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked Police Dog Zero, as he was arrested at a burglary at a shop on Market Street in Halifax in July last year.

Zero suffered injuries to her face as a result of the attack and needed treatment.  

The teenager appeared at Bradford Youth Court accused of burglary and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He was given a 12-month Detention Order and four-month youth referral order.

Chief Inspector James Farrar of West Yorkshire Police said: “This was a nasty attack on one of our beloved police dogs which resulted in her needing treatment for injuries to her face.

“We take the welfare of our working animals very seriously and, as with our officers, none of them deserve to be assaulted in the line of duty. I’m pleased that the court has taken a dim view of this attack. "

Chief Inspector Farrar added that PD Zero is now full recovered and is due to compete in the Regional Police Dog trails later this year.

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act came into force in 2019 to protect service animals such as police dogs and horses.

It prevents those who attack or injure service animals from claiming self-defence.

The law is known as Finn's Law, after a Hertfordshire Police dog who was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect with his handler.

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