A British Army sniffer dog that was used to detect phones used by the Taliban to coordinate their attacks in Afghanistan before they returned to power has been awarded a medal for bravery.
Hertz, a 10-year-old German shorthaired pointer now retired, was honored on Tuesday by the PDSA, an animal rights group, for helping to protect British and coalition troops in Afghanistan in 2013. He is the first dog of the British Army to have been trained to detect communications equipment, including mobile phones, “that pose a significant threat to lifesoldiers but also civilians, wrote the PDSA in a press release. “His exceptional talents undoubtedly protected the troopssaid organization director Jan McLoughlin, noting that the dog had been instrumental in many missions.
Born in Croatia, Hertz joined the Royal Air Force as a puppy and was trained in detecting electronic equipment, initially to deal with smuggling in prisons. Hertz and his master, Warrant Officer Jonathan Tanner, had been deployed to Afghanistan for 13 months, at the British base in “Camp Bastion“. He has “protected the database against threats“, according to PDSA which adds that no rocket attack targeting the camp took place while the dog was there on mission. “Most of the objects he found were used to gather intelligence on potential attacksadds the charity. Created by PDSA founder Maria Dickin in 1943, the Dickin Medal recognizes animals that demonstrate outstanding bravery and dedication during military conflict. Its recipients include a total of 37 dogs, 32 pigeons, four horses and a cat.