Sasha was a 4-year-old Labrador, she was trained to hunt for explosives. This was to prevent soldiers and civilians losing their lives.
Sasha died alongside Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe. She died in a Taliban attack in 2008. She was deployed with handlers from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.
With her handler she was challenged with carrying out advance patrols, finding safe routes and sniffing out weapons and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device).
PDSA said: ‘Sasha’s determination to search and push forward – despite grueling conditions and relentless Taliban attacks – was a morale boost to the soldiers who entrusted their lives to her weapon – finding capability.’
In 2008, Sasha was assigned to 24-year-old Lance Corporal Rowe and they were considered the best in the Kandahar region.
They died together on the 24th July 2008. Their routine patrol was ambushed by a rocket-propelled grenade attack.
Lance Corporal Rowe was from West Moon near Newcastle. He had been due to return home the day before he died but he wanted to stay. This was to complete a planned operation.
Sasha had confirmed finds of IEDs and hidden weaponry.
She is the 65th animal to be awarded the medal since 1943.
PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said: “Her story exemplifies the deduction of man’s best friend and reminds us all of the amazing contribution they make to our lives.”
Related Organisation: PDSA