US military dog wins canine 'Victoria Cross'

2016-04-05 22:00
Gunnery sergeant Christopher Willingham with US Marine dog Lucca, after she received the equivalent of a Victoria Cross for animal bravery. (Frank Augstein, AP)

Gunnery sergeant Christopher Willingham with US Marine dog Lucca, after she received the equivalent of a Victoria Cross for animal bravery. (Frank Augstein, AP)

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London - A US Marine Corps dog that sniffed out explosives and protected thousands of troops, has been honoured with a prize for animals serving bravely in military conflict.

Lucca, a 12-year-old German Shepherd, won the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, a decoration for bravery. She is the first US Marine Corps dog to receive the honour.

Lucca is credited with saving thousands of allied troops and never had a human casualty on one of her patrols. On her final patrol in Afghanistan, she discovered a 13kg improvised explosive device and was searching for more, when a second device detonated. Lucca lost her left leg, but survived.

Her owner, Gunnery Sergeant Christopher Willingham of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was by her side on Tuesday in London as she received the medal.

Read more on:    us  |  uk  |  military  |  animals

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