Highly trained rescue dogs from Mexico are in Turkey to assist with the search and rescue efforts after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria on Monday (February 6). Nearly 8,000 people are confirmed dead and tens of thousands are injured. Many others are reported missing.
According to BBC, 16 dogs and their handlers, some of which became famous in Mexico after their country’s 2017 earthquake, were on a plane by Tuesday (February 7) to help locate and save people from the rubble. Four of the dogs that are now in Turkey are Rex, July, Orly, and Balam. Anneth López Villafaña is July’s handler, while Ángel Daniel Hernández is accompanying Rex, a German Shepherd, on the rescue trip. Rex and July are part of the civilian team from the Red Cross. Orly and Balam are two dogs from the Mexican Navy.
According to the BBC, dogs like Rex and July are often used to search areas where heavy machinery is too dangerous to use. The dogs are trained to find humans through their sense of smell and will bark and scratch the ground to alert their handlers when they smell something.
In 2017, Frida, a yellow Labrador Retriever, became famous when a video of her searching for survivors in Mexico City while wearing custom-made protective goggles and boots went viral. Frida retired in 2019. She died of natural causes late last year.
A photo of Frida now adorns the uniforms of many of the rescuers now in Turkey.
Much love to the Mexico rescue dogs and their handlers as they help in the efforts in Turkey.