Heroic first dog on scene of Manchester Arena terror attack dies of old age
The heroic police dog who found himself first on the scene of the Manchester Arena terror attack has died of old age.
PD Mojo was awarded a PDSA Order of Merit – the equivalent of an OBE – for his devotion on duty while working in the aftermath of the atrocity on May 22, 2017.
On the night of the Ariana Grande concert, Mojo and his handler PC Phil Healy had just arrived home after an early shift, but returned to work when news came through of an explosion.
They were the first dog team to arrive on the scene and Mojo immediately started searching the concourse at Victoria train station to make sure the area was safe.
Mojo searched around injured victims to make sure that there were no further explosives.
The pooch retired from the British Transport Police in 2018, at the age of eight, having served seven years in the force.
Despite suffering stress-related alopecia following the bombing, Mojo was said to have had a ‘happy’ three years of retirement before he died.
PC Healy and Mojo then moved into the arena itself and the site of the explosion to check for any secondary devices so other emergency teams could work in safety.
Announcing the news on Twitter, British Transport Police said: “We’re so sad to say the incredible RPD Mojo has passed away, following three happy years of retirement.
“He was the first dog on scene at the Manchester Arena attack and later honoured by Crufts for his bravery.
“We’ll never forget your service, Mojo. A true BTP legend.”
Tributes have been paid on social media following the news of Mojo’s death.
Liam Johnston wrote: “That is so sad, but it is nice to know that he had a good retirement.”
Nicola Partridge said: “Saw this sad news on another feed yesterday. What a lovely lad he was. So very sorry for his humans and his colleagues.
Another person wrote: “R.I.P Mojo .. Thanks for your service.”
Another said: “Condolences to all who knew and loved beautiful Mojo.”
Mojo and PC Healy continued working until 7am the following day after the arena attack, and while they made their way home they were called out again to reports of another suspicious item.
In 2018, PC Healy said: “There is no doubt that what Mojo experienced that night had a lasting effect on him, as it has all of us.
“His receiving the PDSA Order of Merit is a fitting way to recognise his actions. I am extremely proud of him.”
Jan McLoughlin, PDSA director general, said: “PD Mojo worked tirelessly through unimaginable scenes of destruction and utter chaos.
“His role on the night was to make others safe – members of the public along with the responding emergency services, who each had their vital part to play.
“His dedication to duty, despite clearly being distressed by what he saw, makes him a deserving recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit.”