A hero dog charged through a hail of Al-Qaeda gunfire to save the lives of British soldiers has been given the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Courageous pooch Kuno has been given the honour after being shot in both back legs during his act of heroism, suffering life-changing injuries.
The brave Belgian Shepherd has been given the PDSA Dickin Medal for his devotion to his duty in Afghanistan.
Jane McLoughlin, the director general of animal charity PDSA, which awards the honour, said: "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."
Kuno performed his act of heroism as a canine protection and detection dog in 2019.
The four-year-old suffered bullet wounds to both hind legs, but despite this launched himself at the insurgent, biting his arm and wrestling him to the ground.
Kuno's actions altered the course of the battle and the assault force swiftly entered the courtyard.
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The dog was given immediate first aid, and was evacuated with the assault force, receiving life-saving care on the back of the helicopter.
His injuries were severe – one bullet narrowly missed a main artery – and he required several life-saving operations in theatre before he was stable enough to return home.
Kuno's injuries have proven life-changing and his rear paw could not be saved and was soon amputated.
He is now thriving in retirement after becoming the first British military working dog to be 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.
"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."
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