Lucca has become the 67th animal to be honoured with the Dickin Medal, the Victoria Cross for animals, after the U.S Marine Corps decided to honour the 12-year-old German Shepherd who served the US Marine Corps for six years and lost her leg during a bomb sniffing operation in Afghanistan.
According to reports, in 2012, after losing her leg and suffering chest burns from the bomb, she retired but army reports have it that there were never any human casualties during her patrols, such was her worth to the army.
Lucca’s owner, Gunnery Sergeant Chris Willingham, traveled to London with her to accept the prestigious medal founded by vet charity PDSA in 1943 .
Lucca is very intelligent, loyal, and had an amazing drive for work as a search dog,’ he said.
‘She is the only reason I made it home to my family and I am fortunate to have served with her. Today, I do my best to keep her spoiled in her well-deserved retirement.’
Lucca and her owner served in two operations in Iraq before going to Afghanistan where she led 75 patrols in Helmand Province, a province heavily laden with improvised explosive devices.
Jan McLoughlin, DGl of the PDSA, said:
‘Lucca’s conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty makes her a hugely deserving recipient of the PDSA Dickin Medal.
‘Her ability and determination to seek our arms and explosives preserved human life amid some of the world’s fiercest military conflicts.’
Source- Metro UK