19th October 2020
You might have already heard about a national charity set up to support serving and retired police dogs, maybe you recognise their four-legged ambassador, Finn, as one of Britain’s Got Talent finalists, or you might not know about The Thin Blue Paw Foundation at all.
Whatever reason you find yourself reading this, we hope that by the end you feel as passionately as we do at Animal Friends about the charity, their work and why we wanted to support their mission.
Who is The Thin Blue Paw Foundation?
The Thin Blue Paw Foundation was set up to be able to protect, celebrate and rehabilitate both serving and retired police dogs in the UK.
Once a dog retires from active service, the cost of their care falls solely to their handler or their new owner with limited or no financial support and, with it being so difficult for them to find an insurance provider that’s able to cover the dogs due to their working history, it can be expensive.
Unfortunately, this means that some handlers aren’t able to take on the dog they have been so used to working alongside, caring for and living with. This can cause stress to the dog whose life has entirely changed and is often upsetting for the handler.
This is where the Foundation steps in. They can offer much needed financial support to help cover the costs of a dog’s vet bill from a simple prescription to sessions of hydrotherapy.
They now have over 100 dogs signed up who, thanks to the support the Foundation can provide, can now enjoy a happy and healthy retirement with their owners.
Why we want to help
Here at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, we understand just how much these dogs, and their handlers, sacrifice while at work. We also realise that our pet insurance policies don’t currently offer full cover for retired police dogs, but change takes time and we want to help these dogs that deserve so much more.
We have donated £50,000 to the Thin Blue Paw Foundation to help cover the cost of medication, treatment and rehabilitation therapy and we’re also providing the owners of these amazing dogs with access to convenient veterinary care through our partnership with Joii.
Joii are providers of accessible and affordable vet care, allowing UK pet owners to access vets 24/7 within the app. We truly believe that after years of dedicating their lives to ensuring the safety of the general public and their handlers, they deserve to be treated like the heroes they are.
We are so excited to be able to work with the Thin Blue Paw Foundation and help make a positive change in the lives of these remarkable dogs, as well as easing any financial and emotional stresses for their owners.
What has all of this got to do with Britain’s Got Talent?
Well Finn, a retired police dog, appeared in the 2019 series of BGT and made it to the finals alongside his handler, Dave Wardell, thanks to his amazing magic tricks and mind-reading skills.
Finn is now the official ambassador of the Foundation, using his fame to raise awareness about the struggles other police dogs face who, just like Finn, served with courage, bravery and selflessness.
If you don’t know Finn’s story, he was viciously stabbed whilst on duty when he dived in front of a thrust that was aimed at his handler and serving police officer, Dave.
Finn saved his dad’s life, but at great cost. His willingness to sacrifice his own life meant he needed emergency surgery and there were some dark moments when Dave thought he might lose his friend and police partner forever.
Luckily, thanks to the support of Dave, friends, family and the veterinary staff, Finn pulled through.
Finn has since retired from the police but, together with Dave, they have been working tirelessly to change the law to protect dogs just like Finn.
Finn’s Law and what it means
Before Finn and Dave started their campaign, if a service animal was injured or killed by someone in the line of duty only criminal damage could be brought against the offender.
Finn’s Law is all about making sure that those who harm a service animal are punished for their crimes and are not able to claim self-defence.
This means that police dogs around the country now have the protection they deserve thanks to Finn, Dave and everyone else involved in campaigning.
We’ll keep you updated on all things Thin Blue Paw Foundation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, from updates on Finn’s Law to cute photos of dogs enjoying their retirement, we’ll have it all.
How to support the Thin Blue Paw Foundation
With 1,400 serving police dogs currently in the UK, the need to provide support for these incredible animals is a long-term concern for many of the nation’s police forces and their handlers.
If you’ve been moved by Finn’s story, or touched by the work that the Thin Blue Paw Foundation do, and want to help provide a retired police dog with a happier and healthier future why not get involved by making a donation, organising your own fundraiser or buying something from their shop?
If you found this blog useful, why not visit our animal welfare blog to find more articles about animal at risk around the world?
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