Wales

Soldier saves bomb dog threatened with being put down

Angie McDonnell and Vidar Image copyright Caters
Image caption During their time at Camp Bastion, Vidar and Ms McDonnell became close companions

A soldier has saved the life of a bomb-hunting dog which she served alongside in Afghanistan.

Vidar, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois, sniffed out a haul of enemy weapons while army medic Angie McDonnell was posted there.

But Vidar faced being put down after being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

So Ms McDonnell, a reservist, made it her mission to adopt Vidar and bring him back to her home in south Wales.

Image copyright Caters
Image caption Vidar located a haul of Taliban weapons near Camp Bastion
Image copyright Caters
Image caption Vidar was facing an uncertain future after becoming nervous and developing bad eyesight

And the dog is now living a happy retirement at her home in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan.

'He saved my life'

During their time in Afghanistan, Vidar was on routine patrol near Camp Bastion when he located a haul of guns and grenades.

He alerted his handler and explosives experts were able to disable the weapons which were thought to have been hidden by the enemy to be used against British troops.

But on her return to the UK, Ms McDonnell heard that Vidar, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, was facing retirement.

He had become too nervous to carry out the job he had been trained to do and his vision was failing. He was under threat of being put down.

'Heroes'

Ms McDonnell, who works as a paramedic, began a search to find Vidar to help save his life.

"He saved my life so it's only fair that I did what I could to save his," she explained.

"When I heard he had been retired after starting to get scared, I knew I had to track him down to help him.

"I would have done anything to make sure he had a loving home."

Ms McDonnell added: "The dogs out there are heroes and I knew from the first moment I saw him that he was a one-in-a-million. He looked like he needed a cuddle so I went into his kennel and rubbed his belly.

"We became best friends out there and I was sad to leave him when I returned home.

"I had to find him after he had been such a hero in Afghanistan."

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