- A dog who took on an Al-Qaeda insurgent amid a hail of machine-gun fire awarded the animal equivalent of a Medal of Honour.
- Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois, accompanied British and local forces on a raid on an Al-Qaeda compound when an insurgent pinned them down, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
- Kuno’s attack saved lives and enabled the operation to continue, but he received injuries to his back legs and had a paw amputated.
- Now retired with prostheses, he is due to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal for Valour, considered the highest military honour for animals.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A dog who braved a barrage of Al-Qaeda machine-gun fire to save soldiers’ lives is to be given the animal equivalent of a Medal of Honour.
Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois, is to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal for Valour, in recognition of his courage during a raid on an Al-Qaeda compound in Afganistan, in 2019.
Kuno accompanied the elite British Special Boat Service (SBS) and local forces in the raid when they came under attack from an insurgent bombarding them with grenades and machine-gun fire, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). The i paper named the location as Afghanistan.
The soldiers, unable to move without taking injuries, stalled the raid. But Kuno leaped into action and broke the deadlock, according to the MoD.
????️Retired military dog Kuno is to be awarded the @PDSA_HQ Dickin Medal after he was wounded in action while heroically saving the lives of British Forces fighting Al Qaeda.
— Ministry of Defence ???????? (@DefenceHQ) August 29, 2020
Bullets struck him on both back legs, but his assault, biting the insurgent’s arm and wrestling him to the ground, meant that the raid could continue successfully. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that “it’s clear” the dog saved soldiers’ lives.
Kuno was airlifted to safety, but infection set into one back paw, which had to be amputated. He has now been rehabilitated and has been given a prosthesis that allows him to run around and play.
PDSA Director General Jan McLoughlin, said: “He took on the enemy without fear or hesitation, never faltering from his duty despite being seriously injured.”
The award by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity, is considered the highest military honour offered to animals – the equivalent to a Medal of Honour or, in the UK, a Victoria Cross, according to the charity.
Kuno will receive his PDSA Dickin Medal in a virtual ceremony in November, the charity said. He is now retired and has been rehomed.
Launched during WWII, the medal has previously been given to dozens of dogs and pigeons, as well as four horses and one cat.