A French Navy Commando dog has today (23 April) received the highest honour available for animals – the PDSA Dickin Medal* – for his life-saving actions while on duty.
The vet charity posthumously awarded Belgian Malinois Leuk with the prestigious award, also known as the animals’ Victoria Cross, for his unstinting bravery and life-saving devotion to duty.
A private ceremony took place in Brittany, where a monument commemorating all dogs who have died serving with the French Navy was also unveiled. The video of Leuk’s story can be viewed at www.pdsa.org.uk/meet-leuk
Leuk served with the famed French Navy Special Forces ‘Commando Kieffer’ unit, where his extraordinary abilities had gained him the nickname of ‘Leuk la Chance’ (Lucky Leuk) during his last rotation. He is the first French Military Working Dog to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal in its 78-year history.
PDSA Director General Jan McLoughlin, who presented the medal virtually, said: “Leuk’s actions undoubtedly saved the lives of his unit on multiple occasions. He pushed through flames and bullets to succeed, fearlessly exposing and taking down enemy insurgents; he truly is a worthy recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.”
The world-renowned PDSA Dickin Medal was introduced by PDSA’s founder, Maria Dickin CBE, in 1943. It recognises animals that display conspic