Hero dog who took out Al-Qaeda gunman awarded animals’ Victoria Cross

A military working dog handler with Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois and military working dog, at Woolwich Barracks in London, with his PDSA Dickin Medal for valour, the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict. Kuno received the award after he was wounded in action while heroically saving the lives of British Forces fighting Al Qaeda. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24, 2020. See PA story ANIMALS Dog. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Hero military dog Kuno with his PDSA Dickin Medal for valour (Picture: PA)
A dog who charged through a hail of Al-Qaeda gunfire to save British special forces soldiers has been given the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Kuno leapt into action when his team were pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire in a raid at an undisclosed location. The enemy fired wildly at the shape bounding towards them, but the brave Belgian Shepherd successfully tackled the gunman, letting the soldiers clear the rest of the compound.

Unfortunately several rounds found their mark, and Kuno was shot in both back legs.

Four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, has been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty during a raid with British Forces fighting Al Qaeda in 2019 - which led to the part amputation of one of his paws. See SWNS story SWBRdog. A retired Military Working Dog (MWD), 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. During the 2019 operation, four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, and his handler were deployed in support of specialist UK and host nation forces on a compound raid against a well-armed and aggressive enemy when they came under attack. Pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, the assault force was unable to move without taking casualties. Without hesitation, Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire to tackle the gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the attack, allowing the mission to be completed successfully. During the assault Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs. He was given life-saving treatment by his handler and by medics in the back of a helicopter.
Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs (Picture: PDSA/SWNS)
Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois and military working dog, at Woolwich Barracks in London, with his PDSA Dickin Medal for valour, the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict. Kuno received the award after he was wounded in action while heroically saving the lives of British Forces fighting Al Qaeda. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24, 2020. See PA story ANIMALS Dog. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The PDSA Dickin Medal for valour is the highest award any military animal can receive (Picture: PA)
A military working dog handler with Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois and military working dog, at Woolwich Barracks in London, with his PDSA Dickin Medal for valour, the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict. Kuno received the award after he was wounded in action while heroically saving the lives of British Forces fighting Al Qaeda. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24, 2020. See PA story ANIMALS Dog. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Kuno has earned his retirement after fighting Al Qaeda (Picture: PA)

He had to have one paw amputated and has since been fitted with custom prosthetic limbs.

Now retired, he has been given the PDSA Dickin Medal for his devotion to duty. ‘Kuno is a true hero,’ said PDSA’s Jan McLoughlin. ‘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.

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Four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, has been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty during a raid with British Forces fighting Al Qaeda in 2019 - which led to the part amputation of one of his paws. See SWNS story SWBRdog. A retired Military Working Dog (MWD), 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. During the 2019 operation, four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, and his handler were deployed in support of specialist UK and host nation forces on a compound raid against a well-armed and aggressive enemy when they came under attack. Pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, the assault force was unable to move without taking casualties. Without hesitation, Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire to tackle the gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the attack, allowing the mission to be completed successfully. During the assault Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs. He was given life-saving treatment by his handler and by medics in the back of a helicopter.
Kuno still has a smile on his face (Picture: PDSA / SWNS)
Four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, has been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty during a raid with British Forces fighting Al Qaeda in 2019 - which led to the part amputation of one of his paws. See SWNS story SWBRdog. A retired Military Working Dog (MWD), 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. During the 2019 operation, four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois, Kuno, and his handler were deployed in support of specialist UK and host nation forces on a compound raid against a well-armed and aggressive enemy when they came under attack. Pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, the assault force was unable to move without taking casualties. Without hesitation, Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire to tackle the gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the attack, allowing the mission to be completed successfully. During the assault Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs. He was given life-saving treatment by his handler and by medics in the back of a helicopter.
Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire without hesitation (Picture: PDSA / SWNS)
Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Shepherd Malinois and military working dog, at Woolwich Barracks in London, with his PDSA Dickin Medal for valour, the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict. Kuno received the award after he was wounded in action while heroically saving the lives of British Forces fighting Al Qaeda. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 24, 2020. See PA story ANIMALS Dog. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Kuno’s prosthetic hind legs will help him get about in his retirement (Picture: PA)
‘For this bravery and devotion to duty, we are honoured to welcome him as the latest recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.’ Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘I’m delighted that Kuno will receive the PDSA Dickin Medal.

‘It is testament to his training, tireless bravery and devotion to duty which undoubtedly saved lives that day.

‘I am very proud of the role our military working dogs play on operations at home and abroad.

Kuno’s story reminds us of the lengths these animals go to keep us all safe.’ The PDSA Dickin Medal was introduced by the charity’s founder Maria Dickin in 1943.

She believed that if animals were recognised for their heroic actions, it would help raise their status in society and ensure they are better treated.

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