Whizz, a Newfoundland dog, saved nine people and one dog from drowning during his 10-year career patrolling the Bristol Channel and the River Severn in Great Britain.
"Whizz loved working and had an extraordinary talent," said Whizz's owner David Pugh. "Not only was he strong and gentle -- he was also so emotionally intuitive."
Whizz also served as a therapy dog, visiting hospitals, nursing homes and hospices, as well as visiting servicemen injured in the line of duty.
Whizz began his training as a rescue dog when he was just 1-year-old. He passed away earlier this month at the age of 12.
Whizz's cousin, Tizz, accepted the award on his behalf.
"Whizz's life was utterly devoted to saving and enriching the lives of the humans he met," Jan McLoughlin, PDSA Director General, said. "His story embodies the enormous contribution that animals make to our lives."