A military dog has been awarded the equivalent of the Victoria Cross for bravery.
Mali, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, ran through enemy fire and survived grenade attacks to help capture an enemy base in Afghanistan. Despite being injured he still sniffed out explosives and insurgents before soldiers could move in.
Mali who is attached to British Army’s Royal Army Veterinary Corps was presented with the PDSA Dickin Medal in London following the operation in 2012.
He was twice sent through direct fire to conduct searches for bombs and continued to work despite being injured in three separate grenade attacks.
PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin praised his “awesome ability and determination” and declared the animal “an incredibly worthy recipient” of the accolade.
He is now the 69th winner.
The PDSA medal was instituted in 1943 by Maria Dickin, the founder of the People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals, to honor the work and bravery of animals in World War 2.
It is a bronze medal bearing the words “For Gallantry” and “We Also Serve” within laurel wreath, carried on a ribbon of striped green, dark brown, and pale blue.
It is awarded to animals that have displayed “conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty” while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units.