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Meet Lucca, The Marine Service Dog That Lost Her Leg In Afghanistan & Just Awarded A Major Honor

April 05, 2016

Lucca is being hailed a hero today after being awarded the prestigious Dickin Medal by theThe People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a British veterinary charity. It’s the service dog equivalent of the Victoria Cross.


This brave German Shepherd went on over 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and not one soldier or Marine died on her patrols.

However, one day in Afghanistan, after finding a 30 pound bomb and running to track down another, the bomb exploded. Lucca’s handler Cpl. Juan Rodriguez said:

“The explosion was huge, and I immediately feared the worst for Lucca. I ran to her and saw her struggling to get up. I picked her up and ran to the shelter of a nearby tree line; applied a tourniquet to her injured leg and called the medics to collect us.”

She was transported to Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base in California for recovery and Rodriguez stayed by her side the whole time. Lucca was walking again 10 days later. She now lives in peace in California with Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, who trained her and served with her in Iraq.

Check out these videos and get to know this wounded warrior a bit better: