The war in Ukraine has been going on for months now, and countless Ukrainians have been risking their lives to defend their home country from Russian forces. Animals, too, have been doing their part in the war, providing invaluable help to Ukrainian troops.
One of these animal heroes is a little dog named Patron, who has earned admiration around the world for detecting Russian explosives and helping to save countless lives.
Now, Patron has been honored for his service with a special medal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Patron, a two-year-old Jack Russell terrier, has been hard at work these past few months working alongside State Emergency Service rescuers to sniff out Russian explosives in the northeast city of Chernihiv. He has become a “mascot” of the SES during the war.
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and can be specially trained to detect bombs, providing an invaluable service that no human could do. Patron has reportedly detected over 200 explosive devices, saving countless lives.
His hard work has made him a worldwide hero and an icon of Ukraine’s resilience during the war. “One day, Patron’s story will be turned into a film, but for now, he is faithfully performing his professional duties,” wrote Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications.
“It motivates not to give up no matter how hard it is, to keep the bar high and to fight with new strength, knowing how many people are still waiting for help and how many people believe in us. Our Patron doesn’t let his feet down either and sends his gratitude to everyone,” the SES wrote in a Facebook post, saying Patron was “loved by both adults and children.”
Patron has been hailed as a hero around the world, inspiring words of praise and fan art. But yesterday, he received his highest honor yet, after receiving a medal from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Alongside the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Zelenskiy honored Ukrainian soldiers during a news conference in Kyiv, and gave a special recognition to Patron for his service.
“Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines,” Zelenskiy said at the conference, per Reuters. “And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.”
Patron received his own medal, as did his owner, Myhailo Iliev, a major in the Civil Protection Service. Patron attended the ceremony, delighting the attendees by barking and wagging his tail.
Patron is a true hero — not only is he helping to save countless lives by detecting explosives, but he’s given people around the world a symbol hope during this dark time. We’re very glad he’s gotten his own medal!
Share this great news if you love Patron!