Not all heroes wear capes. Some are covered in fur with wagging tails. Military K9 Kuno went above and beyond during his duties, risking his own life to save the lives of soliders. The 4-year-old Belgian Malinois is now retired with a brace and prosthetic limb, but he has never felt more alive.
Kuno truly went above and beyond, and his efforts didn’t go unnoticed. After making it through lengthy medical procedures, Kuno is now being awarded the highest honor in the British military: the Dickin Medal. He deserves it more than anyone for his hard work and dedication.
Kuno had several successful missions, but his last was the one that will never be forgotten. He supported British troops during a raid against an al-Qaeda compound. But the troops soon became surrounded by heavily armed forces with grenades and machine guns. Kuno saw that his humans were cornered, so he did the only thing he could.
“Pinned down by grenade and machine-gun fire from an insurgent, the assault force was unable to move without taking casualties. Without hesitation, Kuno charged through a hail of gunfire to tackle the gunman, breaking the deadlock and changing the course of the attack, allowing the mission to be completed successfully,” wrote Maj. Sherrain Reber.
Kuno ended up saving the soldiers on his side, but he was badly wounded in the process. He had many gunshot wounds on his hind legs. So, he was rushed to the U.S. Army Veterinary Treatment Facility for instant medical care. They saved his life, but they had to amputate one of his rear paws in the process.
The Dickin Medal
Today, Kuno has a prosthetic limb on one of his hind legs and a brace on the other. He became the first U.K. Military Working Dog to receive a custom-fitted prosthetic limb. He also retired after his injuries, but he has since been adopted by a loving family. Now he gets to live the normal life of a dog, where his days are filled with endless love and playtime.
Kuno’s bravery also earned him the Dickin Medal, which was awarded by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). He is the 72nd animal to win the award since it was first created in 1943. Other recipients include 35 dogs, 32 WW2 messenger pigeons, four horses, and one cat.
“I’m delighted that Kuno will receive the PDSA Dickin Medal. It is a testament to his training, tireless bravery, and devotion to duty which undoubtedly saved lives that day,” British defense secretary Ben Wallace said. “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.”
Congratulations to Kuno! His hard work, sacrifice, and bravery will never be forgotten. Hopefully, he’s thoroughly enjoying his retirement with a family who loves him. After all, he has earned it.