A heroic police dog who almost died after being stabbed in the chest whilst pursuing a gun-toting teen has retired.
After seven-and-a-half years of service, German shepherd Finn is leaving Hertfordshire Police.
The hero dog was stabbed in the head and chest and had to undergo a four-hour life-saving operation.
Finn, who is part of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit, made a miraculous recovery, returning to work just two months after the attack, but the eight-year-old has now completed his final days work.
Handler PC Dave Wardell was also injured by the teen, who had reportedly robbed a taxi at gunpoint, during the attack in October and was rushed to hospital with a stab wound to his hand.
Dave, who has had Finn since he was a nine-month-old puppy, said: “Working with Finn has been an incredible and, more recently, emotional journey.
“Finn genuinely loved to work as a police dog and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.
“His desire to perform his duty to the best of his ability is second to none and I’ll miss patrolling the streets with him.
“Although I am sure he will miss the action, the time has come for him to hang up the lead.
“He has certainly earned a long and healthy retirement and I am happy to say he will be spending this with me and my family – after all, he is part of the family.”
Dave, who is currently training a new dog to work alongside and added: “I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported me and Finn, particularly through recent months.
“The support from around the country and further afield has been overwhelming. Thank you.”
On Wednesday, Finn and Dave won three trophies in the Eastern Regional Police Dog Trials, but had to pull out of the competition early after Finn sustained a muscle strain.
They won ‘Best Tracking’, ‘Best Building Search’ and ‘Best Overall Search’.
Inspector Iain Clark, who leads the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Dog Unit, said: “Finn and Dave have had a great career together with many memorable moments.
“It is testament to Finn’s character that despite all he has been through, he was still able to not only compete in the regional trials, but also win three trophies.
“The bond between dog and handler is unique, particularly when they have been through so much.
“I am very grateful for all Finn’s work and he is an absolute credit to Dave.”