PDSA Gold Medal

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PDSA Gold Medal
Gold medal encircled in a laurel wreath and inscribed "PDSA For animal gallantry and devotion to duty" held from a ring suspended by a golden ribbon.
The PDSA Gold Medal
Awarded for Animal gallantry and devotion to duty
Country United Kingdom
Presented by People's Dispensary for Sick Animals
First awarded 2002
Website PDSA Gold Medal

The PDSA Gold Medal is an animal bravery award that acknowledges the bravery and devotion to duty of animals. It was created by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in 2001, and is now recognised as the animal equivalent of the George Cross.[1][2][3] An animal can be awarded the PDSA Gold Medal if it assists in saving human or non-human life when its own life is in danger or through exceptional devotion to duty. The medal can also be awarded to animals in public service, such as police or rescue dogs, if the animal dies or suffers serious injury while carrying out its official duties in the face of armed and violent opposition.[4]

The first ceremony, in November 2002, saw the Gold medal awarded to three dogs, including Endal, an assistance dog whose actions helped to save the life of his disabled owner.[5] The most recent ceremony was held in June 2013, honouring Ajax, a German Shepherd. As of January 2016, the PDSA Gold Medal has been awarded 24 times. All recipients to date have been dogs, and all have been British except for Bamse, who was Norwegian,[6] George and Gage, both from New Zealand,[7][8] and Ajax, who was Spanish.[9]


Endal received the Gold Medal in 2002.
  *Awarded posthumously
of award
Recipient Notes Date
of incident
November 2002* Bulla A police dog who was killed in 1990 after being stabbed while apprehending a man brandishing a knife. May 1990 [10]
November 2002 Metpol Delta Monty Otherwise known as Monty, a police dog, who overpowered a man wielding a knife despite being stabbed several times. February 2001 [10]
November 2002 Endal A Labrador Retriever service dog who pulled his disabled owner into the recovery position after he was struck unconscious, then covered him with a blanket. He also retrieved his mobile phone and pushed it against his face. Endal only left his owner's side to fetch help once he had regained consciousness. May 2001 [5]
April 2006 Orca A Golden Retriever assistance dog who fetched help when his wheelchair-using owner fell into a ditch and was pinned face-down next to the water under her motorised chair. Although the first person he encountered believed he was lost and tried to lead him away, he broke free from his collar and eventually led his owner's neighbour to the scene of the accident. May 2003 [2]
April 2006 Blue A German Shepherd police dog, who despite being stabbed while tracking a violent suspect, followed the man to his hideout and assisted in his disarming and arrest. March 2005 [2]
April 2006 Zoltan A police dog who was stabbed while attempting to disarm a man who had been threatening members of the public and the police with a knife. April 2005 [2]
June 2006 Dylan
& Cracker
A pair of search-and-rescue dogs from Northern Ireland, the two dogs received their award for their search-and-rescue work including their "exceptionally courageous work" in Turkey following the 1999 İzmit earthquake. 1999 [6][11]
July 2006* Bamse A St. Bernard who was a mascot to the Royal Norwegian Navy minesweeper Thorodd in the Second World War, he knocked a knifeman into the sea, and later saved a crew member from drowning. 1941–1942 [12]
July 2007 Vinnie,
& Jake
Vinnie, Billy and Jake, all sniffer dogs, were honoured as representatives of the 14 police dogs who undertook "life saving work" during the 7 July 2005 London bombings. July 2005 [1][13]
December 2007 Ghillie An English Springer Spaniel who fetched assistance when his owner's mother collapsed while walking him. December 2007 [14]
February 2009* George A Jack Russell Terrier who was killed while shielding a group of children from a pair of attacking Pit Bulls. April 2007 [7]
July 2009 Bosnich A pet black Labrador Retriever that led rescuers to his owner's 73-year-old father who had gone missing on the Cumbrian Fells. August 2006 [3][15]
July 2010 Anya A police dog who suffered stab wounds to the chest while protecting her handler. January 2008 [16][17]
July 2010 Frodo A five-year-old Beagle who woke his owner and led the family to safety when smoke detectors failed to go off during a house fire. June 2008 [16][17]
July 2010* Oi A Staffordshire Bull Terrier who saved her owners' lives by fighting off a gang of four machete-wielding assailants. Oi died from cancer before the award was made. July 2008 [16][18]
April 2011 Dexter For displaying outstanding gallantry, despite serious injuries, while carrying out official duties in the face of violent opposition [4]
October 2012 Ellie and Jones German Shepherd-crosses who saved the life of their owner November 2010 [19]
June 2013 Ajax German Shepherd awarded for "lifesaving bravery and courageous devotion to duty in the face of extreme danger.” July 2009 [9]
August 2013* Gage A German Shepherd police dog who suffered a fatal gunshot wound while protecting his injured handler during a routine drugs search gone wrong. July 2010 [8]
January 2016 K9 Killer A Belgian Malinois dog who works with the Kruger National Park's Special Operations Team to prevent rhinoceros poachers in South Africa. Since 2012 [20]

See also

  • The Dickin Medal, a separate award also administered by the PDSA, which was established by Maria Dickin, founder of the PDSA, in 1943, to acknowledge acts of outstanding bravery by animals serving with military forces in theatres of war, and is considered the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b "Police dogs awarded canine 'George Cross' for July 7 heroism". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Life-saving dog gets medal honour". BBC News. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Rescue Labrador in medal honour". BBC News. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "PDSA Gold Medal". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Owner saved by wonder-dog". BBC News. 13 November 2002. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Gold Medal dogs". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Brave Dog Died To Save Children". Sky News. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Police dog Gage posthumously awarded PDSA Gold Medal for life saving act". NZ Police Media. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Life-saving Spanish police dog receives top animal honour from PDSA". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Annual Review 2002" (pdf). People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. p. 14. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Annual Review 2006" (pdf). People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. p. 14. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "Courageous WWII sea dog honoured". BBC News. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Gold medals for 7/7 sniffer dogs". BBC News. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Puppy's bark 'saved woman's life'". BBC News. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "Annual Review 2009" (pdf). People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. p. 13. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Sinclair, Lulu (6 July 2010). "Courageous Companions Win Bravery Awards". Sky News. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Dogs awarded 'George Cross'". Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Courageous canines honoured with animals' George Cross". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "PDSA Gold Medal dogs". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Supreme honour for South Africa's most successful poacher-hunting dog". PDSA. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "PDSA Dickin Medal". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  22. ^ "The Animals' VC". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 

External links

  • People's Dispensary for Sick Animals
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