Sasha, a four-year-old labrador who was killed in gunfire along with her handler, will be awarded an animal medal for bravery by a veterinary charity.
A report by the Telegraph said that Sasha was credited with saving many lives by finding hidden weapons caches and boobytrap bombs in Helmand province.
"Sasha’s exceptional devotion to duty in Afghanistan saved many lives, both soldiers and civilians. This medal, recognised worldwide as the animals’ Victoria Cross, honours both Sasha’s unwavering service and her ultimate sacrifice. Her story exemplifies the dedication of man’s best friend and reminds us all of the amazing contribution they make to our lives", a spokesman from the charity told the newspapers.
The contribution of animals, particularly dogs in combat areas worldwide is both heartening and heart breaking. While their dedication and faithfulness are unwavering, the fact that they are made to go into potentially dangerous and life threatening situations as part of combat that they have nothing to do with is both unfair and sad.
India's most famous combat dog is Zanjeer, who was fortunate to have died of old age and not in combat.
Like Sasha, Zanjeer was a Labrador Retriever who served as a detection dog with the Mumbai Police. Due to his impeccable service detecting many explosives and other weapons—in particular during the 1993 Mumbai bombings—he was honoured with a full state funeral when he died.
According to this Times of India report, "Zanjeer shot to fame when he detected the scooter bomb on Dhanji Street on 15 March 1993. Zanjeer was taken around the two-wheeler, parked a stone's throw away from the BDDS office, and he barked thrice after a sniff. Those three barks — he always did that when he sniffed explosives — saved a lot of lives in Mumbai."
Updated Date: Apr 29, 2014 17:07:46 IST