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  1. ITV Report

Man charged with stabbing police dog in one of first Finn's Law prosecutions

PD Audi was stabbed in the incident Credit: Staffordshire Police

A 29-year-old man has been charged after stabbing a police dog in Stoke-on-Trent.

It's believed to be one of the first prosecutions since Finn's Law was introduced - a law giving protection to service dogs and horses after a campaign by the handler of a police dog which was stabbed.

The incident happened on Monday 1 July on Town Road in Hanley, at around 2.15pm. PD Audi and his handler were assisting officers who were trying to detain a man.

PD Audi sustained an injury to the side of his head which needed medical treatment.

29-year-old Dan O'Sullivan from Liverpool suffered a medical emergency at the scene and was taken to hospital.

He has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a police dog, five counts of assaulting police officers, possession of offensive weapons and affray.

Senior Investigating Officer, DI Stephen Ward, said:

We're pleased that no officers came to serious harm and PD Audi is now recovering from his ordeal. His injuries seem to be soft tissue-related and he is likely to be out of action for a short time.”

– Senior Investigating Officer, DI Stephen Ward
  • What is Finn's Law?
Here police dog Finn with his handler PC Dave Wardell Credit: PA

In April 2019, the House of Lords passed a law giving protection to service dogs and horses after a campaign by the handler of a police dog which was stabbed.

German shepherd, Finn, who inspired the law, was in the public gallery and barked as the bill was passed.

The law removes a section of the current law of self-defence often used by those who harm a service animal while committing a crime.

The new legislation means causing unnecessary suffering to a service animal is an offence in England and Wales.

You can read about Finns story here.

Credit: PA