After the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, several countries sent search-and-rescue teams to aid in the recovery efforts, including teams with courageous search-and-rescue dogs.
Search-and-rescue teams typically use dogs and handlers to find missing people, human remains, and criminal evidence. These teams are often deployed to areas affected by natural disasters to find missing people buried under rubble.
Among these countries was Portugal, whose team made an incredible discovery on Tuesday. A veteran search-and-rescue dog named Kejsi let out a bark after being given a toy by a member of the rescue team. The team heard another dog bark back and were able to locate a golden retriever-looking dog trapped in the basement of a collapsed home. After drilling a hole into the basement wall, the dog was eventually able to make his way out after being stuck inside for 200 hours. To the team’s surprise, the pup’s owner showed up at the property just an hour after the rescue.
A team of six rescue dogs from the United States was also sent to Turkey as part of the international response. These dogs are part of the Search Dog Foundation, which trains rescue dogs with high energy levels to become search-and-rescue dogs. As of now, the organization has 78 trained “canine disaster search teams” across the US.
Mexico also sent a search-and-rescue team that included at least 16 dogs to Turkey on Feb. 7. Mexico City experienced its own destructive earthquake back in 2017, so the team was unfortunately familiar with the disaster. The search-and-rescue canine team includes various breeds, such as two border collies named Orly and Balam.
The international response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria highlights the incredible work of search-and-rescue teams and their furry co-workers.