TURKEY — Search-and-rescue dogs are taking the lead in finding victims buried under the rubble caused by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Rescue dogs are one of the immediate lifesavers of the Turkey-Syria quake that hit on Monday.
Köpük, a local rescue dog in Malatya City, has thus far saved six lives, including 60-year-old Meral Nakir. She was found on the first floor of a six-story building.
A hunting dog named Alex also helped in the rescue efforts along with his owner Uğur Şahin from Malatya. Although not trained as a rescue dog, Alex is “a trained and very intelligent dog” and “is quite sensitive to smell,” according to Şahin.
“He sat in the debris where the first body was found for a while,” Şahin added.
Search-and-rescue dogs from all over the world deployed to Turkey, Syria
Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States have deployed their canines with their handlers as part of their relief efforts in the areas affected by the earthquake.
The famous rescue dogs from Mexico have also been sent to help. In a report by BBC, a total of 16 rescue dogs took off from Mexico City on Tuesday.
As a country prone to earthquakes, Mexico has highly specialized civilian and military teams and well-trained search-and-rescue dogs. These canines were declared heroes by the people after they saved several lives following the 2017 Mexico quake.
One well-beloved dog was Frida, a yellow Labrador Retriever, who saved 12 lives and located 40 bodies in various search-and-rescue operations in Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala, and Ecuador.
Frida retired from duty in 2019 and died of old age last year. Meanwhile, one of her canine colleagues, Ecko (a Belgian Malinois), who also helped in the 2017 quake, is part of the team sent to Turkey. – WhatALife!
Also read: Two Filipinos confirmed dead in Turkey quake
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