Ukrainian Dog Honored for Saving Lives


A Ukrainian mine-sniffing dog has been given a medal for his services by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Patron, a Jack Russell terrier, was presented with the award at a ceremony in Kyiv, also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Terrier has been credited with helping minesweepers discover over 200 devices. Aside from saving countless human lives, the determined dog has become something of a national hero, a symbol of Ukraine’s patriotism and determined resistance against Russia. Patron has become a social media celebrity with over 220,000 followers on Instagram.

Patron is trained to recognize the smell of gunpowder. When he smells it, he gives a signal to his person, Myhailo Iliev, who then works with his human teammates to find and defuse the devices.

Patron is translated as “ammo” in Ukrainian. Zelenskyy described Patron as “a small but very famous sapper,” or military engineer. “A mine-sniffing dog who helps clean our land from the traces of the occupiers, and who also helps teach children mine safety,” he added. “Due to the Russian invaders, this is now one of the most urgent tasks — to teach children to recognize and avoid explosive objects.”