Hero Pets Remembered

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Hero pets remembered
21st November 2018

By Robert Ellis



This year marks 75 years since the PDSA Dickin Medal was established. The award – created in 1943 by PDSA founder Maria Dickin CBE – honours animals that served in the Second World War and has been presented around 70 times to dogs, pigeons, horses and a cat.

The award has also recognised pets who served under other major incidents, such as the recovery mission following 9/11.

GoCompare Pet Insurance has commissioned oil paintings in commemoration of the milestone to capture the spirit of some of the pets.



One of the animals commemorated is a mixed terrier called Rip. Found in 1940 by an air-raid warden, the dog became mascot at the Southill Street Air Raid Patrol and helped to find people trapped under debris by sniffing them out. This helped to save the lives of more than 100 people and he was awarded the medal in 1945.

A pigeon called Winkie is also being commemorated. In 1942, the plane she was serving on as a carrier crashed into the North Sea.  When the crew released her to get help, the bird flew 120 miles to home in Scotland to alert the RAF, who launched a rescue mission that saved the whole crew. She received the medal the following year.

The stories of these and many more animals can be found on the GoCompare website, with their respective oil paintings.