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DVS vets save critically stabbed police dog

The team at Davies Veterinary Specialists have saved the life of a working police dog who was critically stabbed in the line of duty last week. The heroic German Shepherd sustained stab wounds to the head and chest as he and his handler pursued a suspect in Stevenage. His handler sustained stab wounds to his hand.

Finn, a seven-year-old German Shepherd dog, and his handler PC David Wardell have been a part of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Dog Support Unit for the past six years. Their partnership has helped to detain many suspects and also to locate missing people.

Finn was rushed to Roebuck vets in Stevenage where his wounds were dressed and he was stabilised before being transferred to Davies Veterinary Specialists near Hitchin for the emergency surgery.

Finn with DVS soft tissue surgeon Rob Adams

DVS soft tissue surgeon Rob Adams operated on Finn. He explains: “For legal reasons we cannot disclose the full extent of Finn’s injuries. We are however able to confirm multiple knife injuries were sustained to his head and chest involving several of his vital organs. Major surgical intervention was required including open chest surgery to save Finn’s life. Several drains were placed after surgery to manage the degree of trauma and contamination risk from the knife. The surgery went very well and Finn was transferred to intensive care for recovery.

“It is a testament to Finn’s incredible bravery, tenacity and loyalty to his handler, to know he continued to stand firm in the line of duty with no regard to the extent and severity of the injuries he suffered.”

Finn with PC Wardell

Finn has exceeded all expectations and has recovered very quickly. All his drains have now been removed, and his wounds are healing well. He was discharged back into PC Wardell’s care to be reunited with his family at home three days after surgery. He will need strict rest for the next 3-4 weeks to allow his wounds and muscles to heal, with gradual rehabilitation exercise over the following month. Hopefully Finn will be back up and running again just before Christmas.

PC Wardell said: “I’ve had Finn since he was about nine months old and we’ve been out on the street for just over six years together. It’s just great to have him home. I knew he was in safe hands with Rob Adams but because of the extent of his injuries I was so worried I was going to lose him. Finn’s not only my loyal partner at work but he’s also a part of our family. He has a home for life with me - I can’t imagine life without him.”


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