A little dog has become one of the heroes of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Patron, which means “bullet,” “cartridge” or “ammo” in Ukrainian, is a 2-year-old Jack Russell terrier pup. He is trained as a bomb-sniffing dog for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, currently serving in the Chernihiv region in northern Ukraine.
Jack Russells are great bomb-sniffing dogs because they have an acute sense of smell from their years of being bred as hunting dogs. As small dogs, they can get into tight areas and their body weight doesn’t set off land mines. (Rats have also been similarly used in former combat zones.)
Here’s a Twitter post from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ukraine, celebrating Patron’s accomplishments:
Patron is a service dog in #Chernihiv. He has discovered over 150 explosive devices in #Ukraine since full scale #Russian invasion began. Patron works closely with deminers to make #Ukrainian cities safe again.
Thank you so much for your service!
📸 by patron_dsns (Instagram) pic.twitter.com/VyFbk2ffLQ
— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) April 24, 2022
While early reports said Patron had found 90 explosive devices, this most recent tweet puts his count at more than 150.
Here he is in the field, as shown in a Facebook post from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
Patron and the pyrotechnic team he works with not only look for bombs but also warn civilians to watch out for them. They recommend that citizens stay out of the woods, stick to the sidewalks, and avoid machine rubble.
Little Patron can be seen in action in this video, wearing his protective vest. This was tweeted by Ukraine’s Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security back in March.
A dog called Patron, who works with SES rescuers in Chernihiv, has helped defuse nearly 90 explosive devices since the beginning of the full-scale invasion 🐶 One day, Patron's story will be turned into a film, but for now, he is faithfully performing his professional duties. pic.twitter.com/2PpT8p4Yfr
— Stratcom Centre UA (@StratcomCentre) March 19, 2022
“One day Patron’s story will be turned into a film, but for now, he is faithfully performing his professional duties,” the tweet reads.
He has his own Instagram account. And he’s apparently getting his own stamp, news source Ukraine 24 reports.
— U24 (@u24_news) April 24, 2022
While Patron keeps a busy schedule working with his handlers as a sapper, he also is a pretty typical dog. Patron lives with his handler’s family, which includes a cat named Tom. And he gets some downtime for rest just like all of us do.
Plus he loves a good stick, as you can see in the video tweeted below from Twitter user @svblxyz.
— svbl 💙💛 (@svblxyz) April 20, 2022
Stay safe, Patron.