Patron the dog awarded Ukrainian medal of honor for saving hundreds of lives

Patron the dog
(Image credit: CNA/YouTube)

We were already huge fans of Patron the dog, but seeing him receive a medal for the lifesaving work he's been doing over the course of the war in the Ukraine has made us love this little Jack Russell Terrier all the more.

Many heroes have emerged from the war in Ukraine but not all of them are human and Patron is one such wonderful example. Going viral thanks to his ability to sniff out dangerous explosives, this fearless terrier has so far detected 200 explosives, saving countless lives in the process.

Despite being just two-years-old, Patron has proven to be every bit as essential as anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry in a conflict which began with the Russian invasion on 24 February. And now, all that hard work has been recognised in a moving ceremony that saw him receiving a medal of honor in front of Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. 

The little dog barked happily and wagged his tail as he was led up to Zelenskyy, with a smiling Trudeau watching from the side. 

"Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines...together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper - Patron - who helps not only to neutralise explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat."

Also receiving a medal was Patron's owner, Myhailo Iliev, a major in the Civil Protection Service. He warmly accepted the handshake offered to him by both Zelenskyy and Trudeau as Patron continued to bark excitedly. After being given his medal, Patron sat quietly between the feet of Iliev watching contentedly as the ceremony continued.

While Patron is indeed heroic, his role in Ukraine isn't unusual with dogs having long had their services employed during times of war. Once used to break enemy formations and known to have fought alongside ancient Greek and Roman armies, they have been used to guard, patrol and send messages as well as transport ammunition, food, medicines and weapons.

But while he may not be the first one to serve on the front line, he is certainly worthy of all the attention he's been getting. We hope that Patron continues to stay fit and healthy so that he can keep up the wonderful work he's doing to ensure the people of Ukraine stay safe from harm.  

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.