• Bassma Al Jandaly, Editor In Chief

Military dog Kuno to receive UK's highest honour for animals

Kuno’s hind legs were injured in the attack. Photograph: PDSA/PA Media

A retired British military dog is to receive a medal for valour after he was injured in action while tackling an al-Qaida gunman.

The three-year-old Belgian shepherd malinois and his handler were deployed with the Royal Navy’s Special Boat Service in a raid on a compound during a foreign mission in 2019 when they came under attack.

Kuno will receive the PDSA Dickin Medal in a virtual ceremony in November, giving him the highest honour for military animal valour.

Under grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, Kuno tackled the gunman, allowing the mission to be completed successfully.

Kuno was hit by bullets in both back legs during the assault, with part of one limb having to be amputated before he was flown back to the UK.

He then became the first UK military working dog to be fitted with custom-made prosthetic limbs.

Kuno will become the 72nd recipient of the Dickin Medal, with previous honours going to 34 dogs, 32 second world war messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat.

The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, said: “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.

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