Sunday, February 7, 2010
A heroic military dog is to be honoured with the animal version of the Victoria Cross.
Treo, an eight-year-old black Labrador, saved countless lives in Afghanistan last year by locating hidden roadside bombs.
The search dog twice saved soldiers and civilians from catastrophe while out on patrol in Helmand province by sniffing out explosives which had been wired together in a daisy chain and hidden in the path.
Princess Alexandra will award the dog with the Dickin Medal at a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum on February 24.
The medal was created by leading veterinary charity the PDSA and is recognised as the highest award an animal can receive for conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving in military conflict.
Treo will be accompanied at the ceremony by his handler, Sergeant Dave Heyhoe. The team have worked together for five years.
PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said: "We look forward to honouring Treo with the PDSA Dickin Medal.
"The medal is recognised throughout the world as the animals' Victoria Cross and is the highest award any animal can receive for bravery in the line of duty. Treo is, without doubt, a worthy recipient."
The award was introduced by PDSA founder Maria Dickin in 1943.
Treo will be the 63rd animal to receive the medal, following in the footsteps of 26 other dogs, 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.