Patron: the hero dog decorated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Patron was decorated by the President of Ukraine with the Medal of Courage. The two-year-old Jack Russell is considered a hero.

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In their fight, the latter are helped by dogs, including Patron, a two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, now a hero and decorated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

236 explosive devices discovered by Boss

It was during a ceremony held on May 8 in Kiev, in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that Patron was decorated by the Ukrainian President with the Medal of Courage. The two-year-old Jack Russell is now considered a Ukrainian hero, as is his master Mikhail Iliev, a member of the civil protection, decorated with the same medal.

The dog and his master were able, thanks to the Patron's flair, to detect 236 dangerous explosive devices scattered in the city of Chernihiv, located in northeastern Ukraine. By preventing these devices from exploding in the path of civilians or soldiers, Patron helped save many lives.

Drawn after the outbreak of war

Patron's feats are all the more commendable as he was only trained to detect explosives after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A quick training that now allows the dog and his master to use a proven Canadian detection and defusing technique.

“Originally, the dog was trained for hunting. He is our family dog, not a service dog. But he has an extremely developed sense of smell! Before the war, I took him from time to time with me in the field”, explained the master of Patron to a French television channel.

To accomplish its missions of detecting mines, bombs and unexploded ordnance, the dog is favored by its small size and its small weight of only four kilograms. This weight is, in fact, below the minimum threshold of five kilograms necessary to trigger anti-tank and anti-personnel mines.

In addition to his exploits on the pitch, Patron has today become a true symbol for the Ukrainian people. On his Instagram page, he already has more than 237,000 followers. On this media, it is possible to follow the daily life of the little doggie, thanks to the photos that his master posts of him, showing him dressed in a protective vest and evolving in the field, on a mission, or playing in a field of flowers, in “civilian” life.

Beyond his demining missions, Patron has become an icon and a social media phenomenon. Just one of his videos posted on Twitter and where we see him boarding a military vehicle to go on a mission has more than a million views.

This success of Patron on social networks is likely to be very useful for Ukraine, as explained by President Volodymyr Zelensky for whom the dog hero “helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the crucial safety rules in mine-affected areas”.

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