'One day, Patron's story will be turned into a film, but for now, he is faithfully performing his professional duties,' Ukrainian officials said.
A tiny but mighty hero has risen to aid Ukraine in its defense against Russia's ongoing invasion. A 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Patron has been saving lives in the war-torn country and gaining fans around the world by sniffing out Russian explosives. According to NPR, the brave canine works with State Emergency Service rescuers in the northern city of Chernihiv, where he sniffs out bombs left behind during Russian forces' attacks on the city. Apart from playing an indispensable role in the war, Patron has also made quite a splash on social media for his skills and for being an adorable good boy.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry took to Twitter on Monday to thank Patron for his services, while revealing that the canine has discovered over 150 explosive devices since Russia launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. "Patron is a service dog in Chernihiv. He has discovered over 150 explosive devices in Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion began. Patron works closely with deminers to make Ukrainian cities safe again. Thank you so much for your service!" the tweet from the ministry read. Ukraine's Center for Strategic Communications also tweeted about the dog last month along with video clips of Patron on duty, wearing a protective vest and walking around with his snout to the dirt.
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.— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) April 24, 2022
Thank you so much for your service!
📸 by patron_dsns (Instagram) pic.twitter.com/VyFbk2ffLQ
"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," the March 19 tweet reads. Patron also appeared in a series of photos shared on the SES Facebook page last week, in which he can be seen examining debris in a field, posing on an armored vehicle and being held by a young child. The post referred to him as "our pyrotechnic dog Patron, who is loved by both adults and children."
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
Since news of his contribution to the defense efforts spread across the world, Patron has won hearts and admirers all over. Earlier this month, the SES shared an album of nearly 20 illustrations of Patron submitted from fans across the country, writing—according to Facebook's English translation—that "our brave baby Patron has inspired an incredible number of gifted artists. It motivates not to give up no matter how hard it is, to keep the bar high and to fight with new strength, knowing how many people are still waiting for help and how many people believe in us. Our Patron doesn't let his feet down either and sends his gratitude to everyone."
The 2-year-old terrier also has an entire Instagram account, under the handle @patron_dsns, dedicated to him where he has amassed more than 113,000 followers. Most of the posts shared on the account feature Patron on duty, with a number of videos showing him sniffing for explosive devices while being accompanied by Ukrainian soldiers with metal detectors. According to DailyPaws.com, the powerful nose, small size and high intelligence of Jack Russell terriers make Patron a prime candidate for the job.
For much of the last century, sniffing dogs have played a particularly important role in military work, helping locate land mines, unexploded bombs and improvised devices in campaigns across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Detection dogs have proved extremely good at their job thanks to the fact that their sense of smell is estimated to be 1,000 to 10,000 times better than our own. "There's no substitute for the detection of a dog. There's no machine built yet that can reciprocate what a dog can do," William Cronin, director for the American K-9 for Afghanistan and Mali, West Africa, said in an article for the U.S. Army. "When you go into your grandmother's kitchen, you smell stew. The dog goes in your grandmother's kitchen, he smells carrots, pepper, tomatoes, and lettuce."