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A hero police dog which held on to a suspect despite being slashed with a machete has won a bravery award.
Stark was hit more than 20 times with the sharp sword by a 17-year-old boy suspected of suspicious behaviour in a Birmingham allotment tied to gangs of thieves.
When PC Paul Hopley showed up at the Handsworth site at 4am on November 14 last year, the suspect ran off.
Stark chased him down and grabbed on, allowing PC Hopley to catch up and use an incapacitating spray to disorientate him.
The cop saw Stark getting beaten with what looked like a stick, Coventry Live reports.
He later realised it was actually a machete – and that Stark's injuries were very serious.
The dog almost lost its eye in the vicious attack, with multiple serious cuts to his face.
Released footage and audio of PC Hopley's report detail just how severe the wounds to the selfless sidekick were.
PC Hopley said on the call: "He had a machete and was attacking my dog with it. The dog’s injured. The dog found him and he ran off, the dog gave chase and he attacked the dog with a machete.”
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The stunned cop later added: “Stark was hit over 20 times but he didn’t yelp, he didn’t leave him or run back to me for protection.
"He was such a young, inexperienced dog but he stayed on task and, despite being viciously attacked, he never backed down.
"Stark suffered nasty cuts to his face, with one blow narrowly missing an eye, but thankfully he’s made a full recovery and his policing career is flourishing.”
A 17-year-old boy was sentenced to eight months' detention for the cruel attack.
He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Stark and of possessing a machete in a public place.
The boy cannot be named for legal reasons.
Despite being told to put the weapon down, the teen "continued to swing the machete wildly", prosecutors told Birmingham Crown Court in February.
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The acclaimed police dog bagged a bravery award at the Thin Blue Paw awards last week.
He will now become a firearms support dog after recently finishing his training.
It was reported Stark helped cops find a suspect hiding on a roof during his first night shift after recovery.
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