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SAS dog handler to get bravery medal for defying bullets, saving canine shot in Kabul

A SAS handler ran 50 yards through enemy territory in Afghanistan to save a wounded dog after it helped flush out Taliban snipers
(representative pic) A RAF Pilot greets his springer spaniel upon arriving on a Royal Air Force Tornado from Afghanistan (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(representative pic) A RAF Pilot greets his springer spaniel upon arriving on a Royal Air Force Tornado from Afghanistan (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In a heroic attempt to save his canine colleague, an SAS sergeant who ran through the line of fire in Afghanistan last year is now being acknowledged with a merited gallantry medal. A Belgian Shepherd was being used by a SAS handler to flush out Taliban snipers from behind cover when it was shot. The unnamed sergeant then carried the wounded dog 50 yards through the direct line of fire to get help.

After getting to a helicopter, the dog was treated for its wounds and survived thanks to the sergeant who saved the dog by stemming the blood loss. In the military operation, helicopters carrying Afghan commandos and SAS were used to attack 14 Taliban Militants south of Kabul. The militants reportedly executed locals who tried to help government troops in a fortified compound.


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The Belgian Shepherd had been sent to flush out a Taliban sniper using laser dots projected by the handler. The dog had successfully managed to flush the militant from his cover helping the team secure their target. The dog was reportedly seeking out his next target when it was shot. “It was badly injured and bleeding profusely,” said a source when the sergeant ran across to pick the dog before carrying it to a safe area.  

A Belgian Shepherd competes in the DockDogs Diving during The World Dog Games at Acer Arena on October 31, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.

After the target was neutralized the SAS retreated and were picked up by their helicopters. “The dog was in a bad way, bleeding from gunshot or blast injuries. But he survived and was sent back to the UK.” the source added.

There have been a gazillion instances where dogs have saved their owners, it isn’t the first to be the other way around. In Afghanistan itself, last year, a Royal Marine veteran made an impassioned plea to the British government to help the local staff at his animal sanctuary in Afghanistan leave the war-torn country. Paul Farthing was in conflicted with having to 'put down' animals in Kabul after the UK defense secretary said he had to "prioritize people over pets." After securing private funds for the plane, he set off for the airport with his staff and crates of cats and dogs. Farthing successfully made it out. His staff were able to cross the border to Pakistan in September and later made it to the UK. "We rescued 94 dogs and 68 cats," he had revealed later.