Heroic dog with a prosthetic leg who survived a shooting to save others receives highest animal award
Kuno, a Belgian Malinois, proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that dogs are indeed man’s best friends.
The Dickin Medal, the highest honor an animal can receive in the British military, was awarded to the former British Army working dog who suffered life-changing injuries while assisting British Special Forces in their fight against Al Qaeda (PDSA).
In human terms, this is the animal equivalent of receiving the Victoria Cross, the British version of the Medal of Honor.
This four-year-old military dog was used to assist British forces in their raid on a well-armed al-Qaeda base.
Unfortunately, the assault team was blocked by a hail of grenades and machine-gun fire unleashed by an insurgent hiding in the compound and using night vision goggles.
Kuno was tasked with breaking the stalemate after the British and Afghan soldiers were unable to maneuver without suffering casualties.
Kuno rushed through the entrance of the compound to attack the insurgent after being released by his handler. During the operation, Kuno had already neutralized one terrorist and found a cache of hidden bombs.
Surprised by Kuno’s sudden arrival, the gunman fired into the darkness, wounding the dog in both hind legs. Kuno continued forward and lunged at the gunman, biting his arm and pinning him to the ground.
Despite his severe paw injuries, the dog continued to attack the al-Qaeda fighter until the assault forces entered the courtyard and cleared the building. Only then did he finally rest.
“His actions that day undoubtedly changed the course of a vital mission, saving many lives in the process. And despite suffering serious, life-altering injuries, he performed his duty without fail,” McLoughlin added in the release.
“For this bravery and dedication to duty, we are honored to welcome him as the latest recipient of the PDSA Dickin.”
Unfortunately, Kuno’s back legs were severely wounded by the al Qaeda fighter’s bullets, one narrowly missing a major artery.
Kuno required several major surgeries before he was stable enough to return to the United Kingdom, although he received life-saving care on the ground from medics in the back of a helicopter.
To prevent a potentially fatal infection, part of one of his hind legs was amputated.
Amazingly, this brave dog has made a full recovery from his surgery and is now the first British military working dog to be fitted with custom-made prosthetics.
He is “in good spirits and good health,” according to PDSA.
In a statement, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, “I am delighted that Kuno is receiving the PDSA Dickin Medal.” “It is a tribute to his training, his unwavering bravery, and his sense of duty that he saved lives that day.”
“I am truly proud of the role our military working dogs play in domestic and international missions. Kuno’s story reminds us of how far these creatures are willing to go to keep us all safe.”
Since its inception in December 1943, at the height of World War II, Kuno is the 72nd recipient of the Dickin Medal.
To date, 35 dogs, 32 World War II carrier pigeons, four horses, and one cat have been awarded.
Image source : PDSA
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