11 Bravest and Most Heroic Animals in Modern History

From the only canine prisoner of war to the pigeon who carried out more than 100 missions during World War Two, we round up the most heroic animals of all time …

1. Trakr a German Shepherd police dog

Trakr was a German Shepherd police dog who along with his handler, Canadian police officer James Symington, discovered the last survivor of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. He was considered the world’s most “cloneworthy dog”, as a result of which he was cloned, producing five puppies.


2. Brin, an Afghan breed called Koochee Tiger

Brin, an Afghan breed called Koochee Tiger, saved the lives of two British soldiers and later survived being captured by the Taliban. A campaign was mounted to bring him back to the UK and he was adopted by Sally Baldwin from East Sussex.


3. Cologne the pigeon

Cologne the pigeon carried out more than 100 missions with Bomber Command during World War Two, including homing from several downed aircraft. He was given the Dickin Medal, which honours the work of animals in war.


4. Warrior, the warhorse

Warrior, the warhorse, served on the Western Front during the First World War, and was seen as an inspiration by British troops and Seely’s friend Churchill. He survived the war, dying in 1941, and was given a posthumous award in September last year.


5. Moko the dolphin

Moko the dolphin saved the lives of two beached whales in New Zealand. The mother and calf were stranded and in trouble until the dolphin, who was known for playing with humans, arrived and guided them into the open sea.


6. Simon the ship’s cat

Simon the ship’s cat was lucky mascot on Royal Navy sloop HMS Amythest during World War Two. He was badly wounded during a the Yangtze Incident but miraculously survived, and became incredibly popular with sailors. He was given the Animal Victoria Cross and the Dickin Medal, and hundreds attended his funeral when he died in 1941.


7. Dog Buster

RAF Police Flight Sergeant Will Barrow & his dog Buster. Buster served five tours of duty in Bosnia Afghanistan and Iraq with Will, and is the subject of a new book.


8. Dog Endal

Endal helped his owner Allen Parton become independent and adjust back to life after receiving severe head injuries during the Gulf War. He was one of the most advanced assistance dogs in history, and could use a cashpoint and retrieve items from supermarket shelves.


9. Judy a purebred pointer from Shanghai

Judy was a purebred pointer from Shanghai who became mascot for HMS Gnat in 1936. WW2’s only canine prisoner of war, she was captured by the Japanese, survived several camps and a shipwreck, and was awarded the Dickin Medal in 1946.


10. Police horses

Three Metropolitan Police horses earned the Dickin Medal for their work during the Blitz. All three stayed steadfast after bombs fell near them, helping their handlers rescue people and control crowds.


11. Police dog Lucas

Mississippi police officer Todd Frazier was saved from an attack by three men by his police dog Lucas, who bit the men and prevented him from being dragged into the woods.


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