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5th Jul, 2022

West Midlands Police dog wins Thin Blue Paw bravery award

Sarah Mason 22nd Sep, 2021

A ROOKIE police dog who was beaten, hit and slashed with a machete more than 20 times but refused to let go of the suspect has been honoured with a bravery award.

PD Stark, who was born as part of the Games Of Thrones litter at the Balsall Common West Midlands Police dog training unit, was joined by his handler PC Paul Hopley at the Thin Blue Paw Awards ceremony where he was recognised for his bravery after being attacked in November.

PD Stark with his handler PC Hopely were searching allotments in Handsworth for thieves following reports of suspicious activity, tracked and detained a suspect as he attacked Stark with what PC Hopley initially thought was a stick.

It wasn’t until Paul managed to intervene and arrest the young man that he saw Stark was bleeding he realised the stick was in fact a machete.

Stark was given immediate treatment at a 24/7 vets having been struck in the head numerous times, with one strike just 5mm from hitting Stark’s eye.

His amazing efforts that night have seen him now given the Thin Blue Paw Outstanding Bravery award – for a serving police dog who has shown extraordinary bravery in the line of duty – at the inaugural Thin Blue Paw Awards, supported by Animal Friends Insurance.

The brave dog had been nominated by multiple police colleagues as well as strangers who’d heard his story.

PD Hopley said: “Stark was hit over 20 times He didn’t yelp, he didn’t leave him or run back to me for protection He was such a young, inexperienced dog but he stayed on task and, despite being viciously attacked, he never backed down.

“Stark suffered nasty cuts to his face, with one blow narrowly missing an eye, but thankfully he’s made a full recovery and his policing career is flourishing.

“I was really touched that so many people felt he deserved the award, some who had never even met him or me.

“It was humbling. I am immensely proud of him.

“It’s an honour to work with him every day; I know he would have my back if anything went wrong and he’d look after me, as I would him.”

On his first night shift back at work, Stark got back into full work mode, locating a wanted person who had tried to hide from officers on a flat roof, but he couldn’t outwit Stark.

The three-year-old German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois cross has now passed his firearms support dog course with flying colours and is enjoying his role supporting the firearms unit.

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