Finn and Dave show why they’re fabulous at Stevenage launch night for their brand new book

Finn and Dave. Picture: Martin Elvery

Finn and Dave. Picture: Martin Elvery - Credit: Archant

PC Dave Wardell recalled the terrifying night his police dog Finn came close to death after being stabbed in the chest with a knife in Stevenage, at the launch of his book ‘Fabulous Finn’ last night.

PC Dave Wardell with police dog Finn. Picture: Martin Elvery

PC Dave Wardell with police dog Finn. Picture: Martin Elvery - Credit: Archant

Dave and Finn were introduced by former RAF pilot John Nichol, who himself lives locally, for the special launch night at Cinnabar in Stevenage Old Town.

An audience of friends, family, colleagues and guests listened as Dave recalled the harrowing night in October 2016 when he and Finn were chasing down a suspect in Stevenage when he unexpectedly rose up and stabbed Finn through the chest with a 12-inch combat knife.

He recounted how despite blood gushing from puncture wounds in Finn’s chest, the highly trained German Shephard didn’t let go of his 16-year-old attacker.

Finn was initially rushed to Roebuck vets in Stevenage and was then quickly transferred to Davies Veterinary Specialists in Higham Gobion near Hitchin.

Comet reporter Martin Elvery, left with PC Dave Wardell and Finn. Picture: Martin Elvery

Comet reporter Martin Elvery, left with PC Dave Wardell and Finn. Picture: Martin Elvery - Credit: Archant

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The surgeon who operated on him, Rob Adams, told last night’s enthralled audience how Finn had lost a lot of blood when he was called in to operate on his wounds which included removing sections of his damaged lungs and inserting drains.

Dave also outlined Finn’s speedy brave recovery and return to work just two months after the accident, before his eventual retirement in January 2017.

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The German shephard delighted the audience by barking and demanding treats at key moments.

There were questions and goody bags for those who asked the best questions amiably answered by Dave.

Journalist Sean Dilley – who himself campaigns for the charity Guide Dogs – and retired police dog trainer Mark Tasker were also present. They have backed the campaign since Finn’s accident to demand changes to the law in the way those who attack service animals are punished.

Dave said Finn’s Law, as it is known, is progressing well – with the next stage a private members’ bill raised in the House of Commons by North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald. The second reading of this bill will be on February 23.

On February 25 there will be a David’s Bookshop-organised book signing at St Francis’ College in Letchworth from 3.30pm.

All of this will help ensure – as will Dave’s book – that Finn and Dave’s brush with death was not for nothing.

You can buy the Quercus-published book – ‘Fabulous Finn: The Brave Police Dog Who Came Back From the Brink’ – from Amazon and all good retailers.

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