BGT dog star who was stabbed saving cop owner dies as tributes flood in

Beloved Britain’s Got Talent star and retired police dog Finn has died at the age of 14.

The heroic German Shephard won over the hearts of the nation and wowed the star-studded judges on the ITV talent scouting competition in 2019.

The brave canine and his doting owner Dave Wardell managed to secure a place in the live final after their emotional audition where he recalled how his dog saved his life by placing himself in front of his attacker.

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Finn, who Dave described as being his “best friend” since he was a puppy, severely injured himself by protecting him against his assailant who stabbed the dog multiple times.

Thankfully, the pair made a swift recovery, but the protective pooch retired from his role as a police dog shortly after their recovery.

The Thin Paw Foundation – who are a national charity supporting serving and retired police dogs – has since announced the passing of the ITV star online with a touching tribute.

They wrote: “We’re deeply sad to announce the passing of our Ambassador, Retired Police Dog Finn at the age of 14.

“He leaves a huge legacy behind, having saved the life of his handler PC Dave Wardell on duty, whilst he himself had been stabbed multiple times.”

It went on: “Following his recovery, Finn and Dave then went on to campaign for Finn’s law which gave greater protection for service animals across the United Kingdom.

“Our thoughts are with Finn’s family at this very difficult time. Finn, your legacy will love on, may you stand down with pride. RIP Finn, 2009 – 2023.”

Dave and Finn’s first audition saw them invite Simon on stage and asked him to look into Finn’s eyes and pick a word from a notebook that could describe Finn.

It was then revealed that the word Simon has selected – which was ‘heroic’ – was printed on the dog’s collar.

It’s fair to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, with many audience members moved to tears by the pair’s touching connection.

Following their appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, Dave campaigned to extend the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 and successfully changed the law which will make it harder to state that anyone attacking an animal of any kind was in self-defence.

The success of Finn’s Law in June 2022 resulted in the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty was increased from six months to five years.

Fans flooded to Twitter to share their heartache for the perfect pooch online following the news of his passing.

One user penned: “RIP Finn. Sincere condolences Mr. Wardell. I still remember with delight your appearance on Britain’s Got Talent. You had one remarkable dog whom I know meant the world to you and to us.”

Another agreed: “I had the utter pleasure of meeting Finnn with his daddy at a dog event (I want to say it was Dog’s Fest but I could be wrong). He was a beautiful brave young man, and the work he & his dad did to change legislation was long overdue.”

A third wrote: "RIP our beloved Finn. Thank you for your service and unconditional love." While another wrote: "'Goodnight sweet prince, and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.' So very sorry to hear this news."

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"Thank you for your service, dedicating your life to helping others. And on behalf of the countless animals, who get increased protection and justice, due to your law… Thank you. You are a beautiful hero. Rest peacefully my friend. You've earned it," another gushed.

A fifth heartbroken fan wrote: "I’m so sorry to hear this. Losing our fur babies is beyond heartbreaking. It has killed me every time I’ve lost one of my dogs or cats.

"We get very attached to them very quickly and they take a big piece of our hearts with them." While one fan wrote simply: "Rest in peace, Officer Finn."

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