Kuno: Military dog to receive UK’s highest honour for animals after he was injured tackling al-Qaeda gunman

Heroic canine was shot while attacking al-Qaeda compound

Liam James
Saturday 29 August 2020 17:12
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Kuno was wounded saving the lives of British soldiers in action
Kuno was wounded saving the lives of British soldiers in action

A retired military dog will receive a medal for valour after it was injured tackling an al-Qaeda gunman.

Kuno will receive the PDSA Dickin Medal in a virtual ceremony in November, giving it the highest “honour for military animal valour”.

The three-year-old Belgian malinois and its handler were conducting a compound raid while deployed on a foreign mission in 2019 when they came under attack.

Facing machine gun fire from an insurgent, Kuno tackled the gunman, allowing the mission to be completed successfully.

Kuno was hit by bullets in both hind legs during the assault and parts of its back-left leg had be amputated before he was flown back to the UK.

As a result of its injuries, Kuno became the first dog working in the UK military to be fitted with custom-made prosthetic limbs.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, said: “Without Kuno, the course of this operation could have been very different and it's clear he saved the lives of British personnel that day.

“Kuno's story reminds us not only of the dedicated service of our soldiers and military dogs, but also the great care that the UK armed forces provide to the animals that serve alongside them.”

Hero Kuno will receive the PDSA Dickin medal

Kuno will become the 72nd recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal, with previous honours going to 34 dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat.

Jan McLoughlin, director general of the PDSA, said: “Kuno's heroic actions undoubtedly changed the course of the mission and saved lives.

“He took on the enemy without fear or hesitation, never faltering from his duty despite being seriously injured.

“For his bravery and devotion to duty, he is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal and we look forward to formally presenting his award later this year.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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