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Hero dog awarded PDSA Dicken Medal for saving British Forces from Al Qaeda

Military working dog dog-happy
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To him, he was just doing his job, but retired military dog Kuno is to be recognised for his incredible bravery saving the lives of British forces battling Al Qaeda.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 04/09/2020, 09:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

Today, Kuno is a 4-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois enjoying his military retirement. But just a year ago he was a military dog, deployed with his handler on a dangerous mission to support specialist forces against Al Qaeda. Under attack and trapped by grenade and machine-gun fire, Kuno and the assault force couldn’t move without being hit.

Heroic actions

The only chance they had was Kuno. Without a second thought, he ran through a hail of gunfire to bring down the gunman to break the deadlock and successfully end the mission. The raid was one of the most significant achievements against Al Qaeda in some time.

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But Kuno’s bravery came at a price. He was struck by bullets in his back legs. His handler and medics gave him emergency treatment in the back of the helicopter but his injuries were so serious that he needed several operations before he could be flown back to the UK. Unfortunately, part of one of Kuno’s back paws was amputated to stop a life-threatening infection.

Back on his paws

The incredible canine underwent extensive rehabilitation and became the first military dog in the UK to be fitted with custom-made prosthetics which let him run, play and jump.


Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois, is to be awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Kuno barged through...

Posted by Defensionem - The WarBible on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Later this year, Kuno will be awarded the prestigious PDSA Dickin Medal, the equivalent to the Victoria Cross, which is the highest animal honour for military animal valour. Kuno will become the 72nd animal to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal and follows in the pawprints of 34 dogs, 32 World War II messenger pigeons, four horses and a cat.

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See also: Hero Labrador has saved over 100 canine lives by doing something incredible