Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stabbed police dog Finn inspires charity Christmas card

Christmas card Image copyright @ALEXS_JOURNEY
Image caption The cards feature Alex Goodwin's drawing of police dog Finn and a photo of the pair meeting for the first time

A police dog stabbed while chasing a suspected thief has inspired a charity Christmas card drawn by a nine-year-old boy with cancer.

German shepherd Finn was stabbed in Stevenage on 5 October. His handler PC Dave Wardell was also injured.

Alex Goodwin, of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, was "devastated" when he read about the attack so contacted Finn and PC Wardell via social media.

Cards based on his drawing of Finn sold out within a day.

Police officer's son Alex is undergoing chemotherapy for Ewing Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects fewer than 30 children in the UK each year. He faces further "complex" surgery at Christmas.

He saw the news about Hertfordshire Police dog Finn's injury and continued to follow the story when a petition was started to change the law regarding attacks on police dogs and horses.

Image copyright Dave Wardell/@ChairWarkPolFed
Image caption Alex met Finn for the first time after contact was made via Twitter

"He wanted to know why anyone would hurt a police dog," his father PC Jeff Goodwin, a firearms officer with Warwickshire Police, said.

Via his father, Alex began tweeting Finn and PC Wardell, exchanging pictures.

Image copyright @alexs_journey
Image caption Alex's father said his son had drawn many pictures of Finn, but did a Christmas version especially for the card

Then the "Finn's Law" group suggested one could be made into a Christmas card to help raise funds for the boy's future treatment and rehabilitation.

The initial run sold out in less than a day, raising hundreds for the "Alexander's Journey" appeal.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption The seriously-injured Finn underwent four hours of emergency surgery and has spent many weeks recovering at home with handler PC Dave Wardell

"Alex said he thought Finn was brave and was a hero," PC Wardell said.

"But really, it's Alex who is the brave one. He is an inspiration to me."

It is not known whether more cards will be printed, but Alex's father said: "I'm in the doghouse with Alex's grandma.

"She couldn't get any of the cards and she's very cross with me."

Image copyright BCH Police Dogs
Image caption His handler said Finn had been overwhelmed by the number of toys and treats sent to him during his recovery

Finn's recovery is continuing and his handler hopes he will be able to return to active duty before the end of the year.

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