Kuno, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, served in Afghanistan with British special forces.
Kuno, a Belgian Malinois, has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that dogs are actually man’s greatest friend. When assisting British special forces to combat Al Qaeda, the former British Army
Working Dog sustained life-changing injuries.
Kuno was shot in both rear legs while tackling a shooter during a raid.
As a result of losing one of his paws, he was the first UK military dog to get a custom-made prostheses.
That’s the equivalent of receiving the Victoria Cross, the British equivalent of the Medal of Honor.
In a statement on the prize, Jan McLoughlin of the PDSA veterinary charity stated, “Kuno is a genuine hero.” Kuno received the medal for his extraordinary courage during a 2019 operation in Afghanistan.
Kuno and his handler were deployed in Afghanistan on a night raid targeting al-Qaeda extremists when they were attacked. Unfortunately, the assault team was pinned down by a hail of grenades and machine-gun fire delivered by an insurgent hiding in the complex and using night vision goggles.
Kuno was ordered in to break the standoff because the British and Afghan soldiers were unable to maneuver without suffering losses.
He raced through a shower of gunfire while wearing night-vision goggles, wrestling the shooter to the ground and putting an end to his onslaught. Kuno ran through the compound’s entryway to tackle the insurgent, who had already crippled one militant and uncovered a store of buried bombs during the raid.
The gunman was startled by Kuno’s appearance and shot indiscriminately into the darkness, hurting the dog in both hind legs. Despite his severe leg wounds, Kuno pressed on and launched himself at the gunman, biting his arm and wrestling with him.
Until the assault squad entered the courtyard and evacuated the building, the heroic dog continued to attack the Al-Qaeda warrior. He just took a break after that. “His efforts that day certainly altered the direction of a crucial operation, saving a number of lives in the process.”
And, despite catastrophic, life-altering injuries, he never wavered in his duty,” McLoughlin said in the statement. “We are thrilled to welcome him as the newest winner of the PDSA Dickin for his bravery and commitment to duty.”
After a bullet narrowly missed his major artery, he required numerous life-saving procedures before being able to return to the United Kingdom for additional care.
Kuno undertook a protracted rehabilitation regimen to restore function to his nerves and muscles, similar to that of injured troops, and is claimed to have particularly loved his sessions on the hydrotherapy treadmill.
Thankfully, the brave dog has recovered completely from his operation and is now the first U.K.
Military Working Dog to get custom-made prosthetic limbs. He’s “in good spirits and health,” according to the PDSA.
“Without Kuno, the path of this operation may have taken a very different turn, and it’s certain that he saved British lives that day.”
“This raid was one of the most significant victories against al Qaeda in recent years.” I am really proud of the role that our military working dogs perform in both domestic and international missions.