Our team over the past few days have been attending the annual ADCH annual Conference which is held at the Hilton in Birmingham and brings animal charities together to give them information on animal care, welfare, veterinary advances, new technologies, latest techniques, science and research, the latest in behaviour and training as well as regulatory and legislative issues which face charities of all sizes.
The keynote speaker for this event was someone which you may have seen recently on Britain’s Got Talent – PC Dave Wardell and PD Finn. An inspiring story which has touched all our hearts but also helps us understand the sacrifices that our police dogs take when working to keep us and our communities safe.
Whilst out on patrol one evening back in 2016, PD Finn was stabbed and left fighting for his life. With the help of local veterinary surgeons, he survived the attack but it was only the start of their next journey together – to change the law.
Sadly, Finn's attacker left court unpunished for the injuries he caused Finn – at the time there was no law which protected service animals from attack. This, however, was going to be PC Wardell and Finns new challenge.
With the help from social media and the public support, for the next few years, they both campaigned for a new law to help service animals have a voice and ensure that they are protected just like their officers who stand with them.
Their hard work paid off and on June 9th, 2019 Finn’s Law comes into effect which means that anyone who causes unnecessary suffering to a service animal whilst in the commission of its duties, will be able to be charged. Service animals will no longer be seen as items of “property” but as living, breathing and sentient beings that we all know they are.
But their journey isn’t finished; this change in law has now helped Finn and his dad turn their eyes onto helping the ongoing petition to increase the sentence for cruelty to animals. Currently, in the UK, the maximum sentence for animal cruelty is 12 months, with the help of The Secretary of State Michael Gove MP, Finn, and the general public together the move will bring maximum sentences for animal cruelty in England into line with Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to 5 years imprisonment.
You can help make a difference too. Follow Finn on social media @k9Finn and when you see posts about the work they are doing share and get behind them.
(Please remember to do this in a polite manner and with respect to other social users.)
We too will be helping to spread the word and make a difference to help stop animal cruelty.
Posted: May 3, 2019