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Posted: 10th July 2024

Fundraiser honours police dog who died on duty
PD Zyla's legacy will support the retirement of other police dogs.
PD Zyla died serving Leicestershire Police.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation has launched a fundraiser in memory of a German shepherd which died while in service with the police.

Donations will support the UK-based charity for working and retired police dogs, which celebrates the work of service dogs and provides grants to support them when they retire.

PD Zyla was in pursuit of a suspect, wanted in connection with attempted murder, when she became submerged in water. Found unresponsive, she was taken to a veterinary practice where she later died.

The suspect was arrested under the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019, which is also known as Finn’s Law.

Finn’s Law was introduced after a campaign by former police dog handler David Wardell, after his police dog Finn was stabbed during service in 2016.  Mr Wardell was horrified when the attacker was only charged with criminal damage following the attack, despite Finn almost losing his life.

After the law was enacted in 2019, Mr Wardell and Finn joined forces with Kieran Stanbridge to found The Thin Blue Paw Foundation.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation supports working and retired police dogs. With many police dogs retiring with medical conditions, the charity provides grants and ongoing support so these dogs can access veterinary treatment, rehabilitation therapies and medication.

PD Zyla’s legacy will ensure that the work of serving police dogs is celebrated, and that they are supported in their retirement. So far over £7,000 has been raised.

Mr Stanbridge said: “We were honoured when PD Zyla’s handler contacted us to request that any donations in memory of Zyla be gifted to us so that Zyla’s memory will live on through our work supporting heroic retired police dogs across the UK.
“We’re providing ongoing support to Zyla’s handler at this very upsetting time and would like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of people who have already donated in her memory. ”

Mr Wardell said: “Police dogs put their lives on the line every day to serve their police force and their communities and help fight crime. PD Zyla will be remembered for being a hero.
“Our thoughts are with her handler and everyone who knew her, worked with her and loved her.”

Donations can be made to PD Zyla’s memorial fundraiser here.

Image © The Thin Blue Paw Foundation

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