In Memoriam

Remembering Animal Heroes of War: The PDSA Dickin Medal and its Recipients

Maria Dickin, the founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, created the Dickin Medal in 1943 to honor animals' bravery in war. This bronze medallion is awarded to animals displaying "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty" in any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units. The medal, considered the “animal’s Victoria Cross,” has been awarded 65 times since 1943, including to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses, and a cat during World War II. The most recent recipient, Treo, a black Labrador, received the award for his heroic actions in Afghanistan.

The Dickin Memorial Animal Hospital, named after Maria Dickin, continues her legacy by providing veterinary care to sick and injured animals.

Animal Heroes

The following are some of the animal heroes that have been recognized with the PDSA Dickin Medal:

Simon ‘Able Seacat’

Simon remains the only cat to receive the Dickin Medal. Simon was awarded the medal in 1949 after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service.

Sasha (Dog)

Sasha received the Dickin award in 2012 for finding 15 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) while serving in an active combat zone with her Army colleagues. Her discovery of the IEDs potentially saved many people's lives.

Theo (Dog)

Theo received the Dickin Medal in October 2012 for his gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with the 104 Military Working Dog Squadron in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011.

Irma (Dog)

Irma was an Alsatian awarded the Dickin Medal in 1945 for her service during the Second World War as a member of London's Civil Defence Services. She helped rescue 191 people who were trapped under blitzed buildings and was known for her ability to determine whether buried victims were alive or dead.

Thorn (Dog)

Thorn was an Alsatian who was awarded the Dickin Medal on March 2, 1945, for his service as a member of Civil Defence. Despite thick smoke in a burning building, Thorn was able to locate air-raid casualties.

Rifleman Khan (Dog)

Rifleman Khan received the Dickin Medal for his heroic rescue of L/Cpl. Muldoon from drowning under heavy shell fire during the assault of Walcheren in November of 1944 while serving with the 6th Cameronians.

Rex (Dog)

Rex received the Dickin Medal in April of 1945 for his outstanding work in locating casualties in burning buildings. Despite facing obstacles such as smoldering debris, thick smoke, intense heat, and jets of water from fire hoses, Rex was determined to follow up on any scent that led him to a trapped casualty.

Learn More

To learn more about the brave animals honored with the Dickin Medal for their gallantry and devotion to duty during war, visit
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Compassionate Veterinary Services In Endicott, NY

Trust the talented team at Dickin Memorial Animal Hospital for all of your pet's veterinary care needs. We proudly serve pets and pet parents in Endicott, Binghamton, Apalachin, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable and caring veterinary team offers a wide range of services, including telemedicine consultations, preventive care, emergency care, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, and surgical services for pets requiring advanced care. Whether your pet needs routine medical attention or urgent care, we are here to help. To learn more about our veterinary services, please call us.

Contact Info

(607) 217-5202

2001 East Main Street
Endicott, NY 13760

Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm
No after-hours emergency care is available at this time.

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