Hero dog who ran into enemy gunfire to save Brit troops awarded ‘animal Victoria Cross’


An Armed Forces dog which suffered life-changing wounds storming an Al-Qaeda compound has been awarded a medal.

Belgian Shepherd Malinois Kuno incapacitated two enemy fighters during the special forces raid.

His actions are said to have “altered the course of the battle” and he has now received the PDSA Dickin Medal.

The award is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, praised the dog’s “bravery and devotion to duty”, adding: “Kuno is a true hero.

“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.”

It is believed the raid in May last year took place in Afghanistan and involved Special Boat Service troops.

Kuno and his handler were among a small force dropped by helicopter near a compound held by “well armed” terrorists who were “willing to fight to the death”.

After avoiding machine-gun fire the group entered the compound where Kuno was released to incapacitate an insurgent.

Following a grenade attack the squad were pinned down by shots from a hidden enemy who was using Night Vision equipment.

Kuno raced through a doorway to attack the man and was injured.

A report of the raid said: “Unfortunately, several rounds found their mark, and Kuno received bullet wounds to both hind legs.

“Undeterred, and barely breaking stride, Kuno launched himself at the insurgent, biting his arm and wrestling him to the ground.

“The insurgent was quickly incapacitated, but despite his wounds, Kuno continued to attack to maintain the advantage.

“Kuno’s actions had altered the course of the battle; the assault force swiftly entered the courtyard, neutralised the insurgent and cleared the remainder of the building.”

Kuno was wounded by bullets in both back legs and received life-saving treatment in the back of the helicopter.

He required several operations – including the amputation of part of one rear paw – before being flown back to the UK.

The Military Working Dog has now retired and been fitted with custom-made prosthetic limbs.

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.”

Kuno is the 72nd recipient of the Dickin Medal, which is awarded by veterinary charity PDSA.