DORSET Police has praised its dog section after more than 120,000 people signed an online petition to change the law to protect police animals.

The petition was set up after after a Hertfordshire police dog and his handler were stabbed in Stevenage while chasing a suspect.

German shepherd Finn was stabbed in the head and chest and his handler, PC Dave Wardell, received a hand injury in Stevenage, after they pursued a suspect.

The petition is calling for a Finn's law so those who attack police animals will be treated in the same way as those who attack officers.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: "Police dogs are valuable members of the police family and anything that promotes the safety of the police family is clearly a positive thing.

"Dog handlers and their dogs form very strong bonds with each other. The dogs live with their handler 24/7 and consider them as their mum or dad, so obviously it is very upsetting if they are ever injured.

"We know the public are very supportive of our dog section and almost 2,000 people follow their adventures on their Twitter account @PoliceDogDorset.

"We are unable to comment directly about the petition and any future changes to legislation, which the Government is considering."

The government has said a change in the law is "unnecessary".