A Ukrainian mine-sniffing dog, who has helped detect more than 200 explosive devices, has been awarded a medal by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for his services during Russia’s invasion.
Patron, a Jack Russel Terrier who has become something of a national hero, was honored by Zelenskyy during a ceremony also attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, BBC News reports.
“I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines,” Zelenskyy said at the ceremony, according to BBC News. He said Patron not only helps neutralize explosives, but also teaches our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.
Videos of the two-and-a-half-year-old dog are often posted on official Ukrainian social media accounts and the canine has inspired fans to create artwork as tributes. One viral piece of art shows a sketch of Patron urinating on a Russian missile wearing his signature safety vest.
Patron’s owner, Myhailo Iliev, walked the dog, wearing his vest, up to the president to receive their medals. Trudeau patted his pockets as if to look for dog treats.
The prime minister visited the war-torn country as Canada announced it would send more equipment to help Ukraine.