Hero dogs who helped fight extremism and track terror suspects honoured with memorial in France

Hero Dogs
Maggie Davies

A monument is unveiled in Suippes, home to the largest military kennel in Europe, to pay tribute to dogs who have worked with soldiers, police and rescue teams.

Sky News reports that hero dogs who helped fight extremism and track down terror suspects have been honoured with a memorial.

It was unveiled in Suippes, north-eastern France, in tribute to dogs from across Europe who have aided soldiers, police and rescue teams for more than a century.

Featuring a sculpture of a First World War soldier and his dog huddled together by French-Colombian artist Milthon, the memorial reflects the efforts of all “civilian and military hero dogs”.

It stands in front of the town hall in Suippes, which witnessed major conflicts during the war.

The town is also home to the largest military kennel in Europe, where members of the French army’s 132nd canine infant regiment train dogs for duty.

The regiment includes 650 army personnel and 550 dogs, some of whom attended the memorial’s inauguration.

The ceremony paid tribute to Diesel, a police dog killed in a raid targeting the mastermind of the Paris attacks, and Leuk, a dog who died at the hands of an extremist in Mali in 2019.

One officer, Johan, said: “It’s very important (recognition) because dogs, like human beings, carry out missions, but we don’t ask them for their opinion.

“So to me, it’s fair to give them back a medal.”

Other dogs have been trained to detect explosives and drugs and are deployed on domestic missions and in French territories overseas – including combating gold trafficking in French Guiana.

Each dog is paired with a soldier after being signed up at around 18 months old, although some are recruited as puppies.

Many dogs hail from the Netherlands, Germany and other eastern European countries, as well as France.

They are put through a series of tests, with bravery the most important quality, and retired when they’re no longer able to fulfil their duties.

(Story source: Sky News)

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