Our founder, Maria Dickin CBE, introduced the PDSA Dickin Medal on 2 December 1943, at the height of World War II.
A tireless campaigner for animal welfare, Maria Dickin was determined to raise the status of animals in society and improve their care. The Medal was instituted to recognise outstanding acts of gallantry and devotion to duty displayed by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units in any theatre of war, throughout the world.
Regarded worldwide as the animals' Victoria Cross, the PDSA Dickin Medal is as inspirational and relevant today as it was 75 years ago. It is a fitting tribute to the gallant animals 'who also served' and whose remarkable contributions helped save countless lives.
The highest honour any animal can receive, the Medal stands as testament to the Diligent, Resolute, Fearless and Relentless qualities shown by animals in action.