One of the most beloved rescuers in Mexico is Frida, the 7-year-old Labrador from the Mexican Navy’s Canine Unit. She has had a highly successful career, and now her handlers in Mexico City are hoping she will find survivors of Tuesday’s earthquake, whose epicenter was around 80 miles southeast of the capital, in the state of Puebla.
Even though 15 dogs have searched for people in Mexico City, none of them has as many admirers on Twitter as Frida. The Navy posted a collage of Frida’s photos, mentioning her 52 rescues and its tweet got more than 4,000 retweets and almost 7,000 likes. She is called a hero and a symbol of hope and got largely praised for her deeds. Moreover, there were even some funny comments regarding her achievements, such as ‘Frida for president’ or a suggesting of having her on the 500-peso note instead of the painter Diego Rivera.
Unfortunately, out of those 52 people discovered, only 11 of them were found alive. Those are 11 children from the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school, while 25 people and 11 children were found dead.
After she had found them, she napped in a break room, as her handler Izrael Araus Salinas said she had suffered from exhaustion. Nonetheless, she was back in good spirits on Thursday after some water with electrolytes and good rest.
Salinas talked about the procedure in these situations, saying that Evil and Echo, Frida’s colleagues usually go into the collapsed buildings first, because of Frida’s age. Once they detect a person, Frida goes in to confirm and if the person is alive, they bark.
The dogs have searched places less than 20 inches high, where they had to crawl and reach spots which rescuers couldn’t.
Their service lasts for two months, while training of 3 hours per day takes place first, where they decide whether they will search for people, illegal substances or explosives. For people, they are trained with balls after which they associate the smell of the person with the reward of the ball.
Well done, Frida!