Tayport soldier’s spaniel in line for hero dog award

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A BRAVE bomb detection dog who died in Afghanistan after his soldier handler from Tayport was shot dead is in the running for a top honour.

Springer spaniel Theo, who was owned by Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, has been shortlisted in the Hero Dog category of the Dogs Trust awards.

Theo died following the death of his beloved handler during a battle in Helmand Province in March.

Liam and Theo had together found a record 14 bombs and weapons caches in five months, helping to save countless lives.

Theo was nominated by Liam’s mother Jane Duffy as well as several other family members for his courage and dedication to his job.

Jane said: “I am so pleased that Theo is a finalist for the Hero Dog category of the Dogs Trust Honours.

“Even if he doesn’t win, it means a great deal to us that the loyalty and support he showed for our troops, and in particular my son Liam, has been recognised.

“He truly was a very special dog.”

In total five dogs have been shortlisted for the Hero Dog award, which is for acts of bravery

Just last week, Jane and other members of her family were presented with the Elizabeth Cross by Princess Anne in honour of Liam.

The medal was introduced in 2009 to give recognition to bereaved families of soldiers killed in action

Now in its fourth year, the Dogs Trust Honours celebrate the difference dogs make to our lives.

Winners will receive their awards at a ceremony at Haberdashers Hall in London’s Smithfield on June 1.