Hero dog who sniffed out Taliban bombs given animal version of Victoria Cross
A brave sniffer dog who saved multiple lives from Taliban bombs has been awarded the animal version of the Victoria Cross.
Bass, a Belgian Shepherd, served in the US Marine Corps.
He has now become the 75th animal to win the PDSA’s Dickin Medal – the highest accolade any animal can receive while serving in the military.
Bass spent six years in the US Marine Special Operation Command and conducted more than 350 explosive sweeps in 46 missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.
He was helping to capture a Taliban bomb-maker in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in May 2019, when enemy soldiers opened fire and detonated a bomb.
Bass’s team had to find a safer vantage point and, in doing so, the brave dog quickly identified an explosive near the doorway of a building they had been going to use.
After finding another entry to the building, Bass continued to sweep it and find four additional bombs.
Now aged 10 – about 53 in human years – Bass has retired and lives with his former handler, Staff Sergeant Alex Schnell, in San Antonio, Texas.
He said: ‘It is truly one of my greatest honours to see Bass awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal.
‘Bass is an incredible dog and I hope his story helps to demonstrate just how important animals are to our armed forces, and the key, sometimes life-saving, roles that they play.
‘We are all incredibly proud that PDSA has recognised Bass in this way.’
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