Bomb-sniffing dog Ajax to be awarded PDSA Gold Medal for bravery today in Spain

June 10, 2013

A very special dog named Ajax will be awarded the Gold Medal of the PDSA this morning in Mostoles, Madrid, Spain during the 4th International Conference of Police and Military Dog Handlers.This is the highest award honor possible for bravery for his work in saving lives. Ajax is the first Spanish dog in history to receive this honor and only the second from the UK.

The Gold Medal is the canine equivalent of the George Cross, an award bestowed on a Commonwealth civilian for acts of bravery.

Ajax was accompanied by his handler, Sgt. Juan Carlos Alabarces on the island of Mallorca on July 29, 2009, as part of a Royal detail to search the island prior to the arrival to the King of Spain. The next day a car bomb exploded in the town of Palmanova at Palma de Mallorca. It was under a Guardia Civil vehicle, killing officers Diego Salva Lezaun and Carlos Saenz de Tejada Garcia. ETA claimed responsibility for the bomb.

Ajax and his handler were called to the scene, and Ajax successfully located a second bomb armed with a motion sensor. It would have caused a lot of damage and killed anyone in the immediate area. A controlled explosion was done on the bomb, with the blast sending shrapnel over 100 yards.

According to, the PDSA Gold Medal is the highest honor for outstanding animal bravery and exceptional dedication in civilian life. Eligibility is open to any animal instrumental in saving human or animal life when its own life is in jeopardy or to any animal killed or seriously injured while carrying out official duties in the face of armed and violent opposition.

Ajax and his handler are credited with saving countless lives, and now his bravery will be known the world over.

Although Ajax isn’t an American MWD, the story of this heroic canine needed to be told.


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