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Animal VC for Sadie, the heroine of Kabul

January 27th, 2007, 09:16 AM
A black Labrador who saved the lives of dozens of soldiers in Afghanistan by detecting a bomb has been awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sadie will become only the 25th canine recipient when she receives the medal from Princess Alexandra at a ceremony next week.

The bomb had been planted underneath sandbags, yards from where a suicide car bombing had earlier killed a German soldier outside the United Nations headquarters in Kabul in November 2005.

Leaving a second bomb is a classic terrorist tactic, and about 200 people, including British, American, German and Greek soldiers, were within range of the device.

advertisementHowever, the booby-trap was discovered when Sadie suddenly "showed intention" by wagging her tail as her handler, L/Cpl Karen Yardley, took her on a search of the UN car park.

Bomb disposal experts then used a robot to make the device safe.

"We're all are extremely proud of Sadie," said L/Cpl Yardley, 27, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. "She definitely saved lives that day. She certainly saved mine."

Sadie has already served in Bosnia and Iraq and is part of the 102 Military Working Dog Support Unit based in Sennelager, Germany.

Marilyn Rydström, of the PDSA animal charity, said: "The Dickin Medal is the highest award any animal can receive for bravery in the line of duty and Sadie is a very worthy recipient."

Since its introduction by PDSA's founder Maria Dickin CBE in 1943, the medal has been awarded to 24 dogs as well as to 32 Second World War messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.

January 28th, 2007, 01:26 AM
What a good girl, Sadie!