Brave Stark recovering well from machete attack

Our brave police dog Stark is back at home recovering from a shocking machete attack at the weekend – but the great news is he’ll make a full recovery!

Dog handler PC Paul Hopley was on the trail of suspected burglars at 4am on Saturday (14 Nov) when a teenager emerged from his allotment hiding place and lunged at Stark.

PC Hopley recalled hearing the thud of what he thought was a stick coming down repeatedly on three-year-old Stark’s head.

But as he ran to the dog’s aid it became clear the 16-year-old was armed with a rusty machete and his faithful police partner was bleeding from several cuts.

Shaved and stitched: PD Stark is recovering from the knife attack
Shaved and stitched: PD Stark is recovering from the knife attack

He rugby tackled the knifeman to the floor and Stark helped detain him in the allotments off Larch Avenue in Handsworth.

Stark – a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois cross – was sedated and underwent surgery to stitch together nasty wounds on either side of his face.

Thankfully, the blade narrowly missed Stark’s right eye and vets have said he’ll make a full recovery and be back on the hunt for criminals in a couple of weeks.

Stark will rest at home for two weeks before he can return to action
Stark will rest at home for two weeks before he can return to action

Pc Hopley said: “When I saw the wounds so close to Stark’s eye I feared the worst. I thought he could have been blinded in that eye.

“We’d had reports of people with torches acting suspiciously behind houses. The allotments were big, lots of places to hide, but after around 20 minutes Stark sniffed out the suspect.

“He ran off but Stark chased him down. He struck Stark a few times with the machete but I managed to disorientate him with incapacitant spray and then tackle him to the floor.

We recovered the machete used to attack Stark
We recovered the machete used to attack Stark

“We’ve been together for 18 months now and are very much a team. We look out for each other. Stark did a great job and it’s a huge relief he’s going to be OK.

“He’s not going to be happy about having to take two weeks off at home to recover. He’s a bundle of energy and even on our rest days is climbing the walls wanting to get back to work.

“And I’m afraid he’s going to have to wear a ‘cone of shame’ until the cuts heal as otherwise he’s going to try and scratch out the stitches!”

Partners in crime fighting: Stark with handler PC Paul Hopley
Partners in crime fighting: Stark with handler PC Paul Hopley

A 16-year-old from Birmingham was arrested on suspicion of knife possession and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. 

He remains in hospital having undergone treatment for dog bites. 

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