Police Dog ‘Lucky to Be Alive’ After Being Stabbed in Head
London police described how one of their K9 officers was “lucky to be alive” after being stabbed in the head six times while detaining an armed man.
Officers, including Police Dog Kaiser and his handler Police Constable Mark Woolcott, were called to reports of an intruder at a private property in Orpington, south London, on May 30th at around 11 pm.
PC Woolcott and PD Kaiser began a search of the area and found a man along a track at the back of the house. As Kaiser tried to subdue the man, but was stabbed five times in the top of the head and once under the eye, with a police statement describing the PD as being “badly injured”.
Despite the barrage of blows, PD Kaiser held onto the knifeman long enough for human reinforcements to arrive.
Kaiser was rushed to a veterinarian and received treatment and stitching for his wounds. As the knife thrusts had struck bone, the German Shepherd had avoided any serious or lasting injuries. He was kept overnight for observation but is expected to make a full recovery.
Superintendent Emma Richards said on Tuesday that Kaiser was “lucky to be alive”, but suggested that the man may not be charged because he suffers from mental health problems.
The 43-year-old, who has a history of mental health issues, was detained under the Mental Health Act after being apprehended by police.
His family had alerted authorities after he had left his house in Biggin Hill armed with a large kitchen knife.
Supt Richards said that “we should recognise” the man who stabbed a dog six times “was suffering from a mental health crisis” and that “a decision will be taken in due course as to whether it would be appropriate for any criminal charges to follow”.
In June 2019, the government passed the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill, known as “Finn’s Law”, which aims to protect service animals by stopping those who attack law enforcement dogs and horses from claiming they were acting in self-defence.
The law was inspired by PD Finn from Hertfordshire Constabulary, who was seriously injured in 2016 after being stabbed in the head and chest while protecting his handler, PC Dave Wardell. While the 16-year-old suspect, who was eventually found guilty, was charged with actual bodily harm against PC Wardell, the law only permitted the charge of criminal damage for the near-fatal stabbing of Finn.
“This new legislation, coupled with the government’s plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly,” the government had said in 2019.
PD Finn was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal, considered the animal equivalent of the George Cross, for his bravery. Finn has since retired from duty.