Since its inception in 2001, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Gold Medal has been awarded to 27 dogs.
To date, only canines have been recipients of the prestigious award, however charity bosses say this would be extended to other animals if their bravery meets the entry criteria.
Rescue-dog Diesel saved his owner’s life when he barked at the foot of his owner’s bed after a fire broke out during the night.
Josh Ash, 25, and his parents nearly died when the blaze, which started in their fridge, tore through their home on Saturday, May 28 2016.
Police dog Ozzy, who retired in 2015 after nine years, disarmed an armed assailant threatening to blow up a block of flats after severing a gas pipe in Falkirk, Scotland,
K9 Killer helped his handler Sergeant Amos Mzimba in Kruger National Park, South Africa, arrest more than 77 people in a tireless campaign against illegal rhino poaching.
Police dog Gage took a bullet for his handler Constable Bruce Lamb when a gunman confronted them during a routine drugs search in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Explosives search dog Ajax (pictured below) detected a hidden bomb on the island of Majorca in 2009, saving hundreds of lives in the prison.
The search dog passed away in August 2013 at the age of ten, a week after receiving his PDSA Gold Medal.
Ellie and Jones
Faithful family dogs Ellie and Jones worked a double act when owner Les collapsed on a walk due to his diabetes.
Ellie stayed by his side while Jones ran home to alert Les’ wife and daughter. Les went into a coma and suffered hypothermia but thankfully recovered.
Anya had just qualified as a police dog in January 2008 when her handed PC Neil Sampson was stabbed seven times by an assailant.
Anya leapt into action to defend PC Sampson and was stabbed in the chest by the frenzied attacker. Had it not been for Anya’s dedication to her duty and unstinting devotion to her handler, both the severity and number of injuries sustained would undoubtedly have been greater.
Frodo the beagle raised the alarm after a fire broke out in owner Jenny Barwise’s home in Cumbria on Friday, May 30 2008.
On Wednesday 18 June 2008, Patricia Adshead was at home in southeast London with her daughter and former husband, Frank. At around 11pm, three masked intruders burst through the front door: two were wielding machetes, the other a dagger.
They immediately confronted Patricia, who was alone in the front room. Alerted by her screams, Frank rushed downstairs where one of the gang lashed out with a machete, slicing through his hand.
At this point Oi jumped up to protect her owner, biting the man’s hand. In retaliation the intruder brought the machete down twice onto Oi’s head. As he made his getaway, Oi gave chase, making sure he no longer posed a danger to the family.
On Sunday 29 April 2007, George, a 14 year-old Jack Russell terrier from Manaia, New Zealand, was walking with his neighbour’s children when they were approached from behind by two Pit Bull Terriers.
The dogs were loose and moving quickly towards one of the younger children. George, who had been walking ahead of the group, turned around and faced the Pit Bulls. The brave little Terrier ran at the dogs, barking all the time as they closed in on him. Thanks to George’s intervention the children were able to escape but they could do nothing to help the dog that had saved them.
Reluctantly, due to the trauma George had suffered, George’s owner, Alan Gay, agreed to have George put to sleep.
George’s bravery in the face of danger and his determination to protect the safety of his young friends prevented serious injury and potentially saved the lives of all five children.
On Saturday 12 August 2006, 73 year-old Mark Corrie took his daughter’s dog, Bosnich, for their regular walk in Gelt Woods near Brampton in Cumbria. But when he failed to return by the expected time, Mark’s daughter, Lorna Farish, called the police. For two days police search dogs and volunteers from mountain rescue teams scoured the district for man and dog, but without success.
Local walkers Susan and Jim Burns and Sheila and Fred Brown decided to investigate a dog howling on the south side of Cumrew Fell, some seven miles from Brampton. At the top of the first ridge, they spotted Bos whose howl changed to a persistent bark. Bos led them to where Mark Corrie was lying.
On the morning of Monday December 19, 2010, devoted pet dog Ghillie was enjoying a morning stroll on the local bridle path with his owner’s mother, Mary Wilson, when Mrs Wilson suddenly collapsed. Seeing her lying unconscious, Ghillie wasted no time in running for help.
His constant barking attracted the attention of a team of engineers from Scottish and Southern Energy, who realised the dog was determined to show them something. Following Ghillie along the path the men discovered Mary lying unconscious, but breathing, next to a ditch.
Mary was carefully transferred to Balfour Hospital where, happily, she made a full recovery.
Ghillie’s determination to gain help for Mary after her fall secured her rescue and undoubtedly saved her life.
Vinnie and his handler, PC Dave Coleman, were already on duty in the City when they were urgently deployed to the terrorist explosion at Russell Square tube station on June 7, 2005.
Vinnie immediately began a search for secondary explosive devices in order to establish a clear and safe route for medical assistance to reach the many casualties.
Incredible: Vinnie and his handler, PC Dave Coleman, searched for explosives after the London terror attack on Russell Square tube station on June 7, 2005
Jake, and his handler, PC Robert Crawford, were deployed to Tavistock Square, where casualties needed urgent attention after a bomb explosion on a double-decker bus on June 7, 2005.
Jake immediately began a search of the street leading to the bus. Working through shattered glass and twisted metal, he secured a safe route for an explosives officer to investigate a suspect device on the bus and for paramedics to reach injured passengers. Jake also then secured an area close to the bus to enable a makeshift field hospital to treat casualties.
Billy and his handler, PC Rob Brydon-Brown (pictured together below), were deployed to what they believed to be a train crash at Aldgate tube station. They were met by a sea of casualties and from the nature of the injuries it was clear that there had been an explosion.
Billy was tasked to secure the scene by searching the length of the underground tunnel. Despite immense heat and poor visibility, Billy remained constant to his duties and did not falter.
Billy remained on call throughout the day and attended 21 locations in response to alerts from the public. Working tirelessly and in the face of danger, his skills and determination to protect the public and the emergency services proved invaluable throughout this tragic event.
Bamse (Norwegian for ‘teddy bear’) (1937 – 22 July 1944) was a St. Bernard that became the heroic mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces during the Second World War. He became a symbol of Norwegian freedom during the war. He was given an award posthumously in 2005.
The dog became famous aboard the ship when in 1941, he knocked a knifeman flying into the water after Lieutenant Commander Olav August Johan Nilsen was set upon. Witnesses said the act saved his master’s life.
The following year on an Autumn morning in 1942, Bamse was the only one to see a sailor fall overboard. He barked but no one picked up on the problem. The brave dog overcame his fear of heights and jumped into the see to swim towards to the distressed sailor who clung to his coat as the dog swam towards the dockside.
Dylan & Cracker
In March 1999, Dylan saved the lives of four students lost for several hours on the mountains of Mourne. Despite exceptionally poor weather conditions, Dylan located the group stranded on a ledge 250 feet above ground level. He stayed on duty until the rescue team had lifted everyone to safety.
Cracker, Dylan’s brother, was also part of the 1999 Turkish earthquake search team locating bodies trapped in the debris. His ability to locate the deceased gave families the opportunity to pay their last respects to loved ones.
Cracker is the only dog in the UK trained to locate bodies in water. His skills have helped locate four people, bringing closure and peace of mind to grieving families.
Orca saved her owner Cheryl Smith’s life
Orca saved her owner’s life after Cheryl Smith (pictured together, right) plunged down a 15-foot embankment when her powered wheelchair hit a rock.
The golden retriever guarded Cheryl until she asked him to ‘get help’. The hound dutifully did so which lead to Cheryl’s rescue.
On 8 March 2005, police dog Blue was stabbed after responding to reports of a violent suspect wanted for theft in Wakefield.
Blue found the suspect but sustained two deep stab wounds. His actions resulted in the detention of an armed offender and he defused a volatile situation that could have resulted in the loss of human life.
Police dog Zoltan was stabbed in the chest after protecting his handler Police Constable Andrew Lawton on April 14, 2005.
During the operation he lost one-fifth of his blood. Happily, Zoltan went on to make a full recovery and soon returned to active duty.
Endal, the Canine partner of Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, became his master’s aid after he suffered a brain tumour and was bound to a wheelchair.
On 24 May 2001, Allen was knocked out of his chair in a car park and left unconscious. Endal did not panic and manoeuvred Allen into the recovery position, covered him with a blanket from the wheelchair and pushed the mobile to Allen’s face
Monty – a Metropolitan police dog – was rewarded with a PDSA Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty in recognition of his gallantry following an armed siege in London.
Monty was instrumental in overpowering a man who had been wielding a knife and threatening his handler PC Stuart Judd. Monty was stabbed several times by his attacker but continued to do his duty.
Monty required emergency surgery after the event in February 2001 but just weeks later was ready to resume active duty.
Bulla – a Leicestershire police dog – was killed in the line of duty in May 1990. He was apprehending a man brandishing a butcher’s knife and threatening civilians and police officers. Sadly Bulla was stabbed through the neck and into the heart. Despite all efforts to save him, Bulla died at the scene.