• My Nearest City

Military dog receives animal ‘VC’ for tackling al-Qaeda insurgents in Afghanistan

Kuno, a Belgian shepherd malinois, was shot several times during the operation 

A retired military working dog has been awarded the animals’ Victoria Cross after tackling Al-Qaeda insurgents last year.

Four-year-old Kuno, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois, was handed the PDSA Dickin Medal for his bravery and devotion to duty.

During the 2019 operation, Kuno charged through gunfire to tackle a gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of attack – in turn allowing the mission to be completed with success.

However, during the attack, he was wounded by bullets in both back legs, and had to be given life-saving treatment by his handler and medics in the back of a helicopter.

One of Kuno’s paw had to be amputated after he was injured in the raid

Kuno underwent several operations before becoming the first UK military dog to be fitted with a custom-made prosthetic limb.

After a lengthy programme of rehabilitation, including sessions on a hydrotherapy treadmill, he has been rehomed and is enjoying his retirement.

He is being awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for valour – considered to be the animal equivalent of the prestigious Victoria Cross bravery medal.

It is named after PDSA’s founder Maria Dickin CBE and has been previously given to 34 dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, four horses and a cat.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace praised Kuno, saying: “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. This particular raid was one of the most significant achievements against al Qaeda in several years.

“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 CBE, in 1943.

Leave a Reply