Six-year-old Springer Spaniel Buster, shows off his PDSA Dickin Medal
with handler, Sergeant Danny Morgan
PDSA Dickin Medal recipient, Buster, a Royal Army Veterinary Corps search dog, was again recognised for his heroics in Iraq on Sunday 13 March after being voted Hero Dog of the Year at Crufts 2005.
During the world famous dog show, viewers were asked to vote for their favourite hero dog from six worthy nominees.
However, it was Buster's heroism during the Iraq conflict which ultimately won the hearts' of viewers.
Buster was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, the animals' Victoria Cross, in 2003. Buster located a hidden cache of arms, explosives and bomb making equipment and is considered responsible for having saved the lives of countless civilians and service personnel and preventing untold misery for thousands of people, had the arms and drugs been used or put into circulation.
Commenting on last night's award, Buster's handler in Iraq, Staff Sergeant Danny Morgan, says: ‘I am absolutely delighted that Buster has been recognised yet again for his bravery and devotion to duty. That this award was voted for by the public makes it very special and I would like to thank everyone who voted for us. All of the finalists deserved to win and it was an honour to stand alongside so many brave dogs.
‘As a PDSA Dickin Medal recipient, Buster attracts a lot of attention wherever he goes from people who are in awe of his bravery. He takes everything in his stride though and isn't at all phased by the attention he gets.
‘He is a first-class friend and comrade to me and now, as well as being honoured with a PDSA Dickin Medal he is also the Hero Dog of the nation, which is just wonderful.’
Buster is the 60th animal to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal since the introduction of the award by PDSA's founder Maria Dickin in 1943. So far it has been presented to 32 pigeons, 23 dogs, three horses and one cat.