A British military dog who died in Afghanistan has been awarded the highest bravery award for an animal for finding hidden weapons and improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban.
Theo, a springer spaniel, died from an undiagnosed seizure hours after his handler Lance Corporal Tasker was killed on March 1, 2011 in a firefight.
Theo worked for five months in Afghanistan with Royal Army Veterinary Corps, searching out roadside bombs.
Theo has now been recognised with the Dickin Medal by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
It is the highest award any animal can receive and is given for gallantry or devotion to duty in military conflict.
The PDSA Dickin medal recognises that in finding IEDs and bomb-making equipment, Theo prevented soldiers and civilians from being killed or wounded.
Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy, said she was “so, so proud” of the award given to Theo.
“It’s like they were a team. One couldn’t have worked without the other out there, doing the job they were doing.”
Theo still holds the record for the most operational finds made by an arms and explosives search dog in Afghanistan, with 14, the BBC reported.
Theo is the 64th animal to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal.
Other recipients include 27 other dogs, 32 pigeons, three horses and a cat.