Mexico is sending some of its famous search and rescue dogs to Turkey to assist in the search for people buried beneath rubble after Monday’s earthquake.
A plane carrying 16 dogs took off from Mexico City earlier on Tuesday.
Mexico, which is prone to earthquakes, has highly specialized civilian and military teams that are frequently deployed to assist during disasters.
The dogs won the hearts of Mexicans when they saved several lives during the country’s 2017 earthquake.
Frida, a yellow Labrador Retriever, gained international attention after she was seen searching for survivors in Mexico City while wearing protective goggles and boots.
While Frida died of old age last year, at least one of her canine colleagues from the 2017 Mexico earthquake will travel to Turkey with the Mexican Navy team.
Ecko, a Belgian Malinois, was spotted at Mexico City’s airport with his navy handle.
However, the deployment is not solely military in nature. Los Topos de Tlatelolco (The Moles of Tlatelolco), a civilian search and rescue organization, is also on the way.
The group of highly skilled volunteers had contacted Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, and offered their assistance.
Mr Ebrard responded within hours, saying that transportation had been arranged for them with the assistance of the Turkish embassy.
The foreign minister also shared a video of a Red Cross volunteer with his four-legged companion on the plane.
Angel Daniel Hernández says in the recording that he has been training his German Shepherd Rex since he adopted him five years ago.
Mexico is not the only country sending dogs to Turkey and Syria to aid in rescue efforts.
Croatia, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are all using dogs with handlers.
The animals are used in areas where heavy machinery could cause the rubble to collapse further, endangering lives of survivors.
The dogs are trained to detect humans and alert their handlers by barking and scratching the ground near the source.
Mexican officials say their mission is to “save lives.” Though the dogs can detect the smell of bodies as well as those who are buried alive beneath the rubble. The hope is that their deployment would result in rescues and not recoveries.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com