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.
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.
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.
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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