(NewsNation) — A small four-legged fighter has won the hearts of people around the world for his work to help protect Ukraine. His work is so important, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has taken notice.
Zelenskyy honored a service dog named Patron for his wartime efforts. The pup happily accepted the honors, with his tail wagging at a Sunday ceremony.
The bomb sniffing dog, named Patron, has found more than 200 explosive devices and prevented their detonation. So how did he learn this special skill?
His owner works in the Civil Protection Services in Ukraine and taught the 2-year-old pup to recognize the smell of gunpowder and signal his human teammates when he finds it. From there, they defuse the devices.
“Once you teach the dog a system of what ‘yes’ means, then we get our dog around that specific scent whether it’s via food or via toys. There’s multiple ways to imprint a dog on a specific scent. But it’s all going to start with charging our markers,” Patron’s owner said.
Since Russian forces left behind buried landmines across parts of the country, Patron has been used to teach children the importance of safety rules.
“Dogs save people’s lives every single day in different ways,” Patron’s owner says. “Whether it’s in detection work, where they’re literally sniffing out bombs and saving our armed forces, or whether it’s the standard pet dog inside a home who’s saving that human from their depression … Dogs are amazing.”
Patron’s name translates to “ammo.” There’s no way of knowing how many lives he’s saved, but he’s a hero in Ukraine.