Tag: Earthquakes

Dogs save us in many ways.

With the recent earthquakes in Mexico being a glorious example of that!

Nobody would have missed out on the news of the terrible catastrophe of the  recent earthquakes in Mexico.

As seen on the NBC news site.

Mexico Earthquake Death Toll Climbs as Dozens Sleep on Streets

JUCHITAN, Mexico — The death toll from one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico rose to at least 61 early Saturday as workers scrambled to respond to the destruction just as Hurricane Katia struck its coastline.

The 8.1 quake off the southern Pacific coast just before midnight Thursday toppled hundreds of buildings in several states. Hardest-hit was Juchitan, Oaxaca, where 36 people died and a third of the city’s homes collapsed or were otherwise rendered uninhabitable, President Enrique Pena Nieto said late Friday in an interview with the Televisa news network.

It’s impossible to truly appreciate the terror of such an event unless one has had the misfortune of already living through such an earthquake. Likewise, almost as difficult to appreciate the terror of being trapped.

But thank goodness for dogs that are trained to sniff out those trapped persons. Such as Frida who saved so many lives down in Mexico. Here’s the account of Frida’s special deeds as carried on the Care2 site.

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Frida, the Heroic Rescue Dog, Saves Lives After Mexico’s Earthquake

By: Laura Goldman,   September 25, 2017

About Laura   Follow Laura at @lauragoldman

Photos and videos of a rescue dog named Frida have gone viral — complete with her cute-yet-necessary work uniform: doggie goggles, vest and four protective, Velco-strapped booties. She has become a four-legged symbol of hope during these dark times in Mexico.

Although, contrary to some early news reports, Frida didn’t really rescue 52 people after the devastating 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico Sept. 19, the 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever has nonetheless become a media sensation.

What’s true is that prior to the earthquake, Frida (she’s named after the artist Frida Kahlo) had helped rescue 12 people and recover the bodies of 40 people during her career as a disaster rescue dog with the Mexican Navy’s (SEMAR) Canine Unit.

Working with 14 other dogs in the unit, she has located 12 victims of the Sept. 19 quake so far.

Frida’s first mission after the earthquake struck was to find survivors at the Enrique Rebsamen School in Mexico City. Eleven children were found alive by other emergency workers. Tragically, 19 children and six adults did not survive.

Frida suffered from exhaustion after searching the school Sept. 20, her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, told the Los Angeles Times. After napping and drinking plenty of water with electrolytes, she was in better spirits the following day and ready to go back to work.

Frida has two colleagues in the Canine Unit, Evil and Echo, who are both one-year-old Belgian Malinois dogs. Because Frida is getting on in years, Evil and Echo enter collapsed buildings before she does. If they find someone, Frida enters and spends no longer than 20 minutes inside the building.

The disaster rescue dogs can reach areas that are inaccessible to human responders, including spaces that are less than 20 inches high. When they find a victim who’s alive, the dogs bark. Otherwise they stop and slowly approach the body. “They act afraid,” Salinas told the L.A. Times. “That indicates to us that there is a cadaver.”

Like the other dogs in the Canine Unit, Frida began training when she was just two months old. The skills the dogs show in training determine whether they will go on to detect people, narcotics or explosives.

To train dogs to find people, they are first taught to fetch toys and balls. Once they learn how to do that, their trainers run with the toy or ball in their hands. The dogs learn to associate the smell of the person with the reward of the ball, Salinas told the L.A. Times. Before they’re ready to be dispatched to disaster areas, the dogs train for about three hours a day for a year.

Just two weeks before the Sept. 19 earthquake, Frida helped locate the body of a policeman after a massive 8.1 quake struck Juchitan. She also worked in Ecuador after an earthquake there in April last year.

Before Frida won the hearts of the rest of the world, even the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, was a fan of hers (or at least the person in charge of his official Twitter account was).

“She is @Frida, belongs to the #SEMAR_mx and has helped save 52 lives in various natural disasters at the national and international levels,” says a @PresidenciaMX tweet on Sept. 13.

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I’m going to finish off today’s post with a recent video aired by Quebec News. (Actually, a series of still photographs.)

Quebec NEWS Published on Sep 21, 2017

Thousands of emergency services, military, and civilians are currently searching through rubble across the country for survivors. Among them are Frida, a rescue dog who has saved 52 people throughout her career, according to the office of Mexico’s President. Frida’s adorable outfit has a purpose. The goggles are to protect her eyes from smoke and debris, while the boots protect her feet from rough terrain. A massive 7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico earlier this week,It was the second major earthquake to hit Mexico in two weeks

 

Positive circles!

Or, what goes around, comes around!

Both with animals and with us humans we reap what we sow. Or as I am oft to put it: “Always play with a straight bat for bent bats are practically useless”.

So what has prompted this introspective start to today’s post?

Something that was published on the Care2 blogsite earlier in the month. It was a story about how ex-rescue dogs went on to become dogs that rescued others.  It certainly spoke to me and I feel sure that many of you will be inspired by the story.

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Puppy Rescued Day After Italy’s Latest Quake to Become a Rescue Dog

3193677-largeBy: Laura Goldman November 10, 2016

Among the survivors pulled from the rubble of Italy’s latest major earthquake (Oct. 29) was a border collie puppy who was trapped in the town of Norcia for two days.

The puppy was reunited with his owners, who were so grateful for his rescuers’ work that they decided to let the local fire service adopt him.

Now named Terremoto, which is Italian for – you guessed it – “earthquake,” the pup will be trained to pay it forward by becoming a search-and-rescue dog.

Volunteers from the nonprofit ENPA have been helping nearly 1,000 animals rescued after the earthquakes this year in Italy’s central region. ENPA, an acronym for Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali (National Animal Protection Agency), has been around since 1871. It is Italy’s oldest and largest animal rights organization.

 After the 6.6-magnitude Oct. 29 earthquake, at least 900 animals have received assistance from the organization, according to the ENPA website. Almost 160 of them required veterinary care, including 59 dogs, 63 cats, 13 chickens, 10 tortoises, four parrots, five canaries, two geese, one hedgehog and a hamster. Amazingly, only one animal died: a dog rescued from the rubble alive but in serious condition in the town of Nottoria.

So far, at least 78 animals have been reunited with their owners. Police in Perugia adopted two rescued puppies, The Local reports.

A video captured rescuers using their hands to dig out another dog, Ulysses, after they saw his legs sticking out of the rubble. Like Terremoto, Ulysses had been buried alive when the 6.5 earthquake struck. And, like Terremoto, despite his terrible ordeal, Ulysses was checked out by a veterinarian and found to be in good condition.

About 50 trained search-and-rescue dogs worked with more than 5,000 rescuers after a 6.2 earthquake struck the same region of Italy in August. Among the survivors the dogs sniffed out were two children who’d been stuck in the rubble at separate locations for about 15 hours.

Like these dogs, Terremoto will be trained to bark if he detects a survivor less than 7 feet below the rubble. The rescuers will then dig out the survivor by hand. If Terremoto or other search-and-rescue dogs do not bark, it indicates there are no survivors below. In these cases, heavy machinery is brought in to clear the debris, with care being taken in case there are bodies buried in it.

Search-and-rescue dogs usually stop barking about three days after a disaster like a major earthquake. The rescue efforts then become recovery efforts, since victims would not be able to survive that long without water.

Here in the United States, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation trains rescued dogs to become search-and-rescue dogs. The dogs are saved from shelters and rescue groups across the country.

While I’d like to wish Terremoto a successful career as a search-and-rescue dog, I’m really hoping he never needs to put those skills to use.

Photo credit: ENPA

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I am going to close today’s post by republishing what you will read if you go across to the home page of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation website:

From Rescued…to Rescuer

Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula, California. Our mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.