Kuno, a medically retired Military Working Dog, who suffered life-changing injuries while supporting British Forces fighting Al Qaeda, has today been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty.
In 2019 four-year-old military working dog Kuna – a Belgian Shepherd Malinois – and his handler were deployed with the British armed forces in support of specialist UK and host nation forces on a compound raid.
When the daring raid was launched, the allied forces came under a heavy and sustained attack from a well-armed enemy.
The assault force quickly became pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, meaning that they were unable to move without taking heavy casualties.
Without any hesitation for his own safety, Kuno charged through a hail of heavy gunfire and explosions to tackle the gunman.
Kuno’s heroic actions on that day meant that the deadlock was broken and allied forces could emerge from where they were being pinned down to neutralise the enemy forces.
During the heavy gunfire and grenade attack, Kuno was wounded by bullets in both of his back legs.
He was given life-saving treatment by his handler and by medics in the back of a medevac helicopter.
His injuries were so severe that he required several operations before he was stable enough to fly back to the UK for further treatment and rehabilitation.
Sadly, part of one of Kuno’s rear paws had to be amputated to prevent life-threatening infection.
But Kuno is now thriving in his well-earned 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 today (24 November 2020) 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.
Discussing the award, 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.”
Meet Kuno and watch him receive his PDSA Dickin Medal
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