Dog handler thanks public for support after Finn stars in Britain’s Got Talent final
- Credit: Archant
Britain’s Got Talent finalists PC Dave Wardell and retired police dog Finn have been congratulated by colleagues at the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Dog Policing Unit following last night’s final.
PC Wardell and German shepherd Finn appeared on the ITV show to perform mind tricks for celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.
The pair were one of the favourites to win, but singing Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery came out on top in a public vote.
After finishing fifth out of 11 acts with 9.1 per cent of the vote, police dog handler PC Wardell said: "I am absolutely overwhelmed by the public support for us and I would like to thank everyone who vote for us, I can't believe how far we have come.
"At the heart of this journey for myself and Finn has always been to show the nation just how important all of our service animals are and to promote the importance of Finn's Law.
"This has been a truly amazing experience. I have met some brilliant, talented and humble people along the way and it is something I will never forget.
"I genuinely cannot thank those people enough who have supported us along the way, we wouldn't be where we are without a strong team behind us."
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PC Wardell and Finn's story goes back to October 2016, when the pair had been called to reports of a robbery in Stevenage.
During the pursuit, the suspect stabbed Finn in the head and chest - while PC Wardell suffered an injury to his hand. Finn didn't let the suspect go and in a short while other officers arrived and he was arrested.
Finn, whose actions protected his handler's life that night, almost died from his injuries. However, he did make a miraculous recovery and was back on active duty just 11 weeks later. He retired in March 2017,
The 16-year-old offender was charged with an offence of ABH for the injuries caused to PC Wardell and criminal damage to Finn - prompting a campaign to provide better protection to service animals called Finn's Law.
T/ACC Paul Fullwood from the BCH Joint Protective Services Command said: "A huge congratulations to Dave and Finn, Dave is extremely passionate about animal welfare and I am so proud they have achieved all they have after being throughout something so traumatic.
"To make the finals of Britain's Got Talent is fantastic and they have represented the policing family exceptionally well.
"They truly have captured the hearts of the nation in their quest to shine a light on the great work of our service animals."