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Two dogs at war - past and present


BeautyDuring the Second World War, Beauty the wire-haired terrier became the original Search and Rescue dog. She was owned by Bill Barnett, a member of the PDSA animal rescue unit during the Blitz.

Mr Barnett was on a squad dedicated to looking for animals trapped in the rubble after bomb blasts and Beauty was his companion, providing good company. Then one day in 1940 Beauty suddenly started to scrabble in the rubble too and minutes later the team uncovered a cat buried beneath a table. From that day on Beauty was a working member of the team, going on to save 63 animals from being buried alive. She received the Dickin medal in January 1945.

Now there are hundreds of fully trained Search and Rescue dogs operating around the world. Perhaps the most notable use of these in peacetime were when teams of SAR dogs investigated the rubble of the World Trade Centre in September 2001, searching for survivors and human remains after the dreadful terrorist attack which killed thousands of office workers in the twin towers.




SadieTwo suicide bombers had already unleashed their deadly blasts when Labrador Sadie was called into action in Afghanistan on November 14, 2006.

Working with Lance Corporal Karen Yardley, the nine-year-old explosives search dog saved the lives of dozens of servicemen and women within the United Nations compound in Kabul.
The dog, part of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, sniffed out a bomb concealed behind a wall, inside a seemingly innocent metal pressure cooker.

Alerted by the dog's sudden change in behaviour, Lance Corporal Yardley was able to call for assistance and the bomb was made safe.

The pressure cooker, filled with TNT, would have had the impact of a massive grenade when it was detonated by remote control.

The dog, which has served in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo, had uncovered an array of weapons in the past, but had never detected a bomb. She was awarded her Dickin Medal in February 2007.