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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 14:57 GMT
Sniffer dog rewarded for bravery
Sadie and Lance Corporal Yardley
Sadie and Lance Corporal Yardley served in Afghanistan
A dog who sniffed out explosives saving the lives of hundreds of army personnel has been awarded the Victoria Cross of the animal world.

Sadie, an eight-year-old Labrador who was trained in Leicestershire, has been awarded a Dickin Medal for her work in Afghanistan in November 2005.

Sadie's handler, Lance Corporal Karen Yardley, went with the dog to a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum.

Lance Corporal Yardley said she was "very proud" of Sadie.

Sadie found a booby-trap bomb concealed in a pressure cooker, hidden behind a 2ft-thick concrete blast wall within the United Nations compound in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Highest animal award

Her discovery saved hundreds of soldiers and civilians from possible death and serious injury, Lance Corporal Yardley said.

"I'm thrilled Sadie has won the Dickin medal for bravery. She's a lovely dog and I'm very proud of her," she added.

Director general of the veterinary charity PDSA, Marilyn Rydstrom, said: "The medal is recognised throughout the world as the animals' Victoria Cross and is the highest award any animal can receive for bravery in the line of duty."

Sadie's medal brings the total number of PDSA Dickin Medals presented to animals in war to 62.

Since the medal's introduction in 1943, it has been awarded to 24 dogs, 32 World War II messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat.

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