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Ukrainian mine-sniffing dog receives award from President Volodymyr Zelensky

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Patron a Jack Russell receives award from Ukraine president for his mine sniffing duties

NEWS AND COMMENT: Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky, is seen presenting an award to a feisty little Jack Russell terrier, Patron, a mine-sniffer, at an award ceremony in which the attendees are seen smiling broadly. Animals tend to do that to you. Animals make you smile and smiles are needed in this devastating Russian invasion resulting in a nasty war because brave Ukrainians have patriotically defended their country, which was unexpected by Putin and his cronies.

Patron a Jack Russell receives award from Ukraine president for his mine sniffing duties

Patron and his owner Myhailo Iliev (left) are awarded medals by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky (middle) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) during a news conference in Kyiv on Sunday. IMAGE SOURCE,UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/REUTERS

Patron is two and a half years old and he has been credited with finding 200 mines left on the ground by retreating Russian soldiers. He’s become somewhat of a national hero and a symbol of the country’s brave resistance against Russia.

President Zelensky said during Sunday’s ceremony:

I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes – a wonderful little sapper Patron who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.

 
The ceremony was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was visiting the country on Sunday. He was there to announce that Canada would be sending more equipment and weapons to support Ukraine in their defence.

Patron’s owner is Myhailo Iliev. Justin Trudeau wanted to give Patron a treat but couldn’t find one in his pockets.

Patron regularly features in videos on Ukrainian social media channels. He’s been inspirational. Artworks have been created of him by fans across Ukraine. One of them shows Patron urinating on a Russian missile. This feisty little dog is wearing his signature safety vest at the time.

As mentioned, Patron is not only a wonderful working dog in saving lives, he is educating children and he is putting smiles on their faces.

Many animals have not been so lucky in Ukraine as you may have heard. Many were taken with their refugee owners to Poland and other neighbouring countries and thence to European countries such as the UK. But there have been problems of getting animals into the UK because of complicated paperwork and restrictions regarding rabies. Rabies is present in Ukraine but not in the UK.

Many animals were regrettably left behind and some were killed in animal shelters that were shelled by the Russians. Or they simply starved to death in their cages because the staff had to abandon them. There have been some terrible, terrible stories emanating from Ukraine regarding animal welfare.

Patron’s work is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

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