BRITAIN’S Got Talent contestant PC Dave Wardell revealed that the loss of his dad at 11 months old sparked a life long bond with dogs.
The policeman – who bought judges to tears with his ‘magical mind-reading’ dog Finn on this weekend’s show – says that the loyalty of his dad’s German Shepherd, Jess, inspired him to want to work with dogs.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, Dave, 42, said that the loss of his father, Bill Wardell, after an unexpected heart attack when Dave was just 11 months old, triggered a special relationship with dogs after he he watched his dad’s dog mourn for years after his passing.
“Sadly, my dad died when I was 11 months old, and his dog outlived him by a few years,” Dave says. “The loyalty she showed him, even after his death, has stuck with me for the rest of my life.
“She would curl up behind the front door at 6pm every evening, years after he died, waiting for him to come home.
“For me, they showed me loyalty that not many humans showed me when I was a child. I had a bit of a rough childhood, but dogs were always there.”
Dave was on Saturday’s episode of Britain’s Got Talent with his beloved magical mind-reading dog, Finn[/caption]
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He went on to explain that his love for dogs developed further when he volunteered to take his neighbours dogs out for a walks and dogs have been his close companions ever since.
“All my neighbours had dogs, so as a youngster I was forever taking people’s dogs out for a walk, it would get me out of the house where the issues were, and then I opened up my world to these animals.”
Incredibly Dave’s life was saved by his police dog Finn in 2016, after he was knifed with a 10in blade when he bravely leapt between PC Wardell and an attacker while they were on a shift together.
Last Saturday Finn bought the judges to tears after their amazing act on the show, as Finn performed an incredible mind-reading trick and Dave opened up about the tragic incident.
Unfortunately, because there is no law that exists to protect service animals, Finn’s attacker walked away from trial without punishment for the hurt and damage he caused for Finn, Dave and their family.
After the attack, Dave backed a campaign, called Finn’s Law, which was created to address that service animals need their own piece of legislation – which most of the rest of the world already have.
Dave told the Sun Online that there is a Finn’s Law part two that will move the maximum sentence for any animal welfare case from six months to five years – which is what inspired Dave to raise awareness on the show.
“There is a Finn’s Law part two which I’m hoping that the public will help us with, currently the maximum sentence for any animal welfare cases is 6 months, but we want to increase that to five years.
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“That’s Finn’s Law part two, so we’re still marching on, and that’s hopefully where Britain’s Got Talent will help us,” he said.
The pair created such an unbreakable bond that after Finn’s retirement from the police force, Dave decided to keep Finn as a loyal companion at home, alongside their five other dogs.
The two have taken up many fun water based hobbies together including swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, and Finn has even been on a jet ski.
Dave said that he couldn’t believe how emotional the judges got, and described the experience as a “big gulp moment”[/caption]
Their favourite activity to do together is paddle boarding, and Dave told us: “He just literally sits on the end of the paddle board, barks at the ducks as we go past, and we have a great time.”
The policeman hopes to continue to win over the nations hearts with their special story and believes that the service element of their act makes them stand out from previous dog acts on the show.
“I think it’s the fact that he’s had a phenomenal career, he’s had 300 arrests during his career.
“We’re not talking about low level offences, we’re talking proper criminals and I think once you factor in he’s had this amazing career, amazing result, saved my life, there’s clearly something special going on between Finn and I.
“The bond is amazing and you know, he’s just an incredible dog, I think that the connection between us is what really hopefully bought us to the nations hearts or Finn to the nations heart anyway.
“Simon said he’s never had a magical mind reading dog on Britain’s Got Talent, so hopefully that will make it special too!”
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