Mexico sends its famed search and rescue dogs to Turkey

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Mexico is sending some of its famous search and rescue dogs to Turkey to help look for people buried under rubble following Monday’s earthquake.

A plane with 16 dogs on board took off from Mexico City earlier on Tuesday.

Mexico, which is prone to earthquakes, has highly specialized civilian and military teams which are often deployed to help when disasters strike.

The dogs won the hearts of Mexicans during the country’s 2017 earthquake when they saved several lives.

A yellow Labrador Retriever named Frida gained international fame when she was seen searching for survivors in Mexico City wearing protective goggles and boots.

Frida during the earthquake in Mexico City in 2017
Image caption, Frida became Mexico’s most famous rescue dog after rescuing 12 people and locating 40 bodies

The navy credited Frida with saving 12 lives and locating 40 bodies in operations across Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala, and Ecuador.

While Frida died of old age last year, at least one of her canine colleagues from the 2017 Mexico quake will form part of the Mexican Navy team traveling to Turkey.

Mexico is not the only country sending dogs to help with the rescue efforts in Turkey and Syria.

Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, Switzerland, the UK, and the United States are all also deploying canines with their handlers.

The animals are often used in areas where the use of heavy machinery could cause the rubble to collapse further, putting the lives of survivors at risk.

The dogs are trained to sniff out humans and alert their handlers by barking and scratching the ground where the smell is strongest.

Mexican officials say their mission is “to save lives” and while the dogs can detect the smell of bodies as well as that of those who are buried under the rubble alive, the hope is that their quick deployment will result in rescues rather than recoveries.

Source: BBC Mundo

The Mexico City Post