Thursday, 7 July 2022
Wednesday, 6 July 2022
Ukraine's pint-sized hero - Patron the mine-sniffing Jack Russell - gets his own Twitter account where the pup shows off his brave endeavours...and fashion sense!
- Patron the Jack Russell was recently awarded a medal for valour by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
- He is 'soul and mascot' of group and helps State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) in clearing explosives
- Patron was bought to appear in dog shows, but has now detected more than 200 deadly Russian landmines
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Patron the two-year-old Jack Russell was recently awarded a medal for valour by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and is the star of billboards symbolising his country's defiance of Vladimir Putin.
He is the 'soul and mascot' of the group and helps the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) in clearing explosives.
Patron was originally bought to appear in pedigree dog shows, but has detected more than 200 deadly Russian landmines and unexploded bombs.
He first found fame when Ukraine's State Emergency Service posted a video online of their mascot working in the war-torn northern city of Chernihiv. He received his medal at the presidential palace in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was visiting, looking on.
His owner Mykhailo Iliev is a bomb disposal expert and soon after buying Patron he realised how helpful the dog could be in his work.
Mykhailo said: 'This is his life, it is all he has known. It is just a matter of chance that we have such a capable dog. He is not a service dog, he is my pet, but he has an amazing nose and is an avid learner. He was meant to be a show dog but his destiny was to save people's lives, not to win prizes.'
From six months, Patron was trained to detect TNT and gunpowder. When he does, he stops rigid and stands with his nose down until Mykhailo and his team approach.
But he can sometimes find his job exhausting. 'Some days he is so tired that he does not eat his evening meal. He comes home, has a drink of water and just crashes out,' says Mykhailo. 'But he always wakes up excited to go again the next day.'