Tomorrow sees the retirement of Police Dog Finn from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dog Unit and he is completing his final shift today.
German Shepherd Finn made national headlines with his handler PC Dave Wardell in October last year when they were both injured during the foot pursuit of a suspect in Stevenage.
Finn, who is now eight years old, sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Davies’ Veterinary Specialists in Higham Gobion, where he underwent a life-saving operation.
After making a remarkable recovery, Finn returned to work with Dave in late December. On his first shift back he demonstrated he was back to top form and successfully tracked a suspect in Borehamwood.
On March 28 and March 29 Finn and Dave competed in the Eastern Regional Police Dog Trials after being selected to represent the team alongside Police Dog Ciav and handler PC Graham Ashby.
Unfortunately the duo had to pull out of the competition early as Finn sustained a slight muscle strain, but their scores from the first day saw them win three trophies best tracking, best building search and best overall search.
Thankfully, as Finn was rested for the remainder of the day and overnight, he was fit and well enough to complete his final ever shift today.
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 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.”
Inspector Iain Clark, who leads the BCH 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.”