Unsung heroes of the 2017 London Bridge terror attacks have been honoured almost two years on from the atrocities.
The PDSA has honoured dogs from the Met and British Transport Police which were involved in checking the fake suicide vests of the three London Bridge attackers after they were shot dead by police.
Along with their handlers they were involved in checking dozens of buildings for explosives as officers worked to ensure the scenes were safe.
Now they have been rewarded with the PDSA’s Order of Merit recognising their work.
The three London Bridge attackers — Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba — killed eight people on June 3 2017 and wore fake explosive belts made of water bottles wrapped in silver tape to instil terror.
In the Westminster Bridge attack, in which five people were killed on March 22 2017, a police dog team was sent in to check terrorist Khalid Masood’s car for a bomb after it crashed into the railings outside Parliament.
Four dogs were also used to search for potential devices among the chaos on the bridge.
In total, 19 dogs were used in the aftermath of the two terror attacks and seven dogs were chosen by ballot to receive the PDSA awards.
The charity said the dog teams worked in the knowledge that they could have encountered real bombs and explosive belts.
The dogs teams honoured today include Kai, an explosive detection dog and handler Pc Jean Pearce; Delta, a firearms support dog and handler Pc Mark Snoxhall; and Dave, an explosive detection dog and handler Pc Andy Salter, all from the Met. Kai, a spaniel, was deployed in both attacks.
The British Transport Police dogs include Bruno, an explosive search dog and handler Pc Rob Smith; Marci, a general purpose dog and handler Pc Neil Billany; and Jax, a general purpose dog and handler Pc Craig Howarth.
Chief Inspector Graham Horwood, of the Met’s Taskforce, said: “In 2017 we were sadly met with some unimaginable events. Our police dogs and their handlers were required to work in the most challenging environments and we are delighted to hear that their extraordinary work has been recognised.”
British Transport Police Inspector Paul Miles said: “I am immensely proud of our dogs and their handlers. They worked through physically and emotionally challenging conditions without second thought, courageously walking into danger and putting the public’s safety before their own.”
A PDSA spokeswoman said: “Throughout the incident the teams worked with the knowledge that potential further danger remained all around them, but put the safety of the public ahead of their own as they tirelessly continued their work.”