Stabbed Derbyshire police dog receives national award

Axle Image copyright Pdsa
Image caption Axle sustained life-threatening injuries

A police dog that was almost killed after being stabbing three times has been honoured for his "devotion to duty and bravery".

German shepherd Axle was knifed after he chased a suspect in Riddings, Derbyshire, in July 2018.

Matthew Stretch, 28, was jailed for six years and seven months for a number of offences including the attack on Axle.

Following surgery the seven-year-old dog returned to duty with his handler, PC Dean Allen.

The force received hundreds of messages of support after Axle was attacked on 4 July 2018.

Stretch ran from the scene after smashing the windows of a police car and attempting to attack the officer.

A search involving firearms officers and the police helicopter eventually ended when Stretch was cornered by Axle.

Image copyright PDSA
Image caption Axle receives his award at the force's headquarters

He stabbed the dog three times before being Tasered and arrested.

"The biggest concern was the position of the stab wounds, you don't know how deep they are, and they were very close to the spine," said PC Allen.

"With the blood vessels running down the spine in German shepherds, it can be life threatening."

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Media captionStabbed Derbyshire police dog back in training

Robert Haselgrove from vet charity the PDSA said Axle had shown "remarkable bravery" in tackling an armed criminal.

PC Allen said: "I couldn't be prouder of Axle."

In June, new legislation was passed giving protection to service dogs.

Axle was given the commendation for his devotion to duty and bravery at the force's headquarters in Ripley, on Friday.

Image copyright Derbyshire Police
Image caption Axle returned to work with his handler PC Dean Allen after he recovered

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