Kuno, a Belgian Malinois, has shown that dogs truly are man’s best friend. The former British Army Working Dog has received the prestigious Dickin Medal, the highest honor given to an animal in the British military. Kuno was injured while helping British special forces fight against Al Qaeda. This medal is the equivalent of the Victoria Cross, which is the UK’s version of the Medal of Honor for humans. During a mission where British forces raided an Al-Qaeda base, Kuno was used to assist in breaking an impasse after soldiers were unable to maneuver due to heavy gunfire from an insurgent using night vision goggles.
After being released by his handler, Kuno swiftly made his way into the compound to confront the insurgent. In the course of the operation, Kuno had already taken down one terrorist and uncovered a stash of hidden explosives.
The gunman was taken aback by Kuno’s sudden appearance and started shooting aimlessly in the dark, which caused severe injury to the dog’s hind legs. Nevertheless, Kuno didn’t let that stop him and charged at the attacker, fiercely biting his arm and grappling him down to the ground. Despite sustaining serious injuries, the brave dog didn’t give up and kept fighting until the assault team arrived and secured the premises. Finally, after completing his heroic mission, Kuno took a well-deserved rest.
The course of an important mission was irrevocably altered by the brave actions of a hero on that fateful day, resulting in multiple lives being saved. In spite of life-altering injuries, he displayed unwavering dedication to his duty. McLoughlin expressed his admiration for the hero’s actions in a statement, while also announcing that he was being awarded the prestigious PDSA Dickin award. However, Kuno was unfortunate enough to sustain severe injuries to his hind legs when he was hit by bullets fired by an Al Qaeda terrorist. One bullet missed a crucial artery by a narrow margin.
Kuno had to undergo several significant operations before he could safely go back to the UK, despite receiving crucial medical attention from doctors in a helicopter. To prevent a dangerous infection, a part of one of his hind paws had to be removed. Remarkably, this courageous pup has made a full recovery from his surgery and is now the initial Military Working Dog in the UK to receive bespoke prosthetic limbs.
The PDSA reports that he is in good health and high spirits. British defense minister Ben Wallace expressed his excitement over Kuno’s receipt of the PDSA Dickin Medal, praising his courage and dedication to saving lives on duty. He also expressed pride in the important role military working dogs play in both national and international missions, with Kuno’s story serving as a powerful reminder of their unwavering commitment to ensuring our safety.
Kuno, the latest recipient of the Dickin Medal, holds a significant place in history as the 72nd animal to receive this prestigious award. The medal was first introduced during the Second World War in December 1943 and has since been awarded to a total of 72 animals, including 35 dogs, 32 messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat. You can learn more about the recipients of the Dickin Medal by visiting the “Dog Family” list.