A retired Military Working Dog (MWD), who suffered life-changing injuries while supporting British Forces fighting Al Qaeda, has been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty.
During the 2019 operation, four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, and his handler were deployed in support of specialist UK and host nation forces on a compound raid against a well-armed and aggressive enemy when they came under attack.
Pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, the assault force was unable to move without taking casualties.
Without hesitation, Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire to tackle the gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the attack, allowing the mission to be completed successfully.
During the assault Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs. He was given life-saving treatment by his handler and by medics in the back of a helicopter.
His injuries were so severe he required several operations before he was stable enough to fly back to the UK. Sadly, part of one of Kuno’s rear paws had to be amputated to prevent life-threatening infection.
But now he is thriving in retirement after becoming the first UK MWD to be fitted with custom-made prosthetic limbs.
Kuno was formally presented with his PDSA Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross – via a virtual presentation on Tuesday by the vet charity’s director general.
Kuno has become the 72nd recipient of the prestigious honour; joining a line-up of brave dogs, horses, pigeons and a cat.
PDSA Director General Jan McLoughlin said: “Kuno is a true hero.
His actions that day undoubtedly changed the course of a vital mission, saving multiple lives in the process. And despite serious, life changing injuries, he performed his duty without faltering.
“For this bravery and devotion to duty, we are honoured to welcome him as the latest recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.”
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