A brutally injured service dog is now in a stable condition after being stabbed in Hanley earlier today, Staffordshire Police have confirmed.
Officers were called to the scene at around 2:15pm after reports of a man armed with a knife on Town Road.
The German Shepherd, called Audi, sustained a stab wound to the head whilst officers tried to detain the suspect.
“Police dogs are our family, not property, and our thoughts are with the dog and his handler at this time,” chief inspector Donna Harvey, from Staffordshire Police, said.
The force confirmed that a police officer received a minor injured during the incident.
An investigation has commenced and officers are appealing for witnesses to ring 101 quoting incident 469 of 1 July.
“We owe service animals more than the public will ever know,” said Gina Picozzi, a dog handler who specialises in detection dogs.
“These animals are not just service dogs. They provide a vital job in protecting the law-abiding public, their handlers and colleagues.
“Include the unconditional love, the fearless bravery and courage shown and they are irreplaceable.
“The UK would be a far more dangerous place without service animals tirelessly working behind the scenes.”
Over 100 service animals have been injured since 2012, including being purposely hit by a car, kicked, and beaten with an iron bar.
The attack comes just weeks after The House of Lords passed ‘Finn’s Law’, giving protection to service dogs and horses.
The new legislation means that it is now an offence under The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill to cause unnecessary suffering to service animals in England and Wales.
Previously, attackers of service animals could only be charged with criminal damage.
The law is named after a German Shepherd named Finn, a police dog who was stabbed in the head and chest in 2016 whilst protecting his handler PC David Wardell.