Historical Hounds: Frida The Earthquake Dog Saves 12 Lives

Frida the earthquake dog

(Image Credit: Getty Images/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Dogs have a special place in our heart. However, some dogs also have a special place in history. Historical Hounds is a series that focuses on dogs marked down in history through notability or extraordinary behavior and accomplishments. Frida the earthquake dog definitely deserves a place in our memories as one of these special canines.

While Frida may not have been relegated to history just yet—she is still alive and well, after all–she nevertheless deserves a place on our timeline. Frida is a Labrador Retriever who earned her fame after saving several lives during the deadly Mexico City earthquakes back in 2017. The tragedy left over 230 people dead. Frida, deployed by the Mexican navy, was equipped with a pair of protective goggles and boots and sent to do search and rescue work in Mexico City after the disaster.

Frida Dives Into The Rubble Where Rescuers Can’t Go

The star of the Mexican navy’s canine unit, Frida helped detect 52 people over the course of her seven years. Twelve of whom were still alive. She worked alongside 14 other rescue dogs after the earthquakes hit and became an instant internet celebrity. Even Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took to Twitter to sing her praises!

According to Frida’s handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, many of the spaces where Frida and other rescue dogs must go are less than 20 inches high. These are areas where the dogs often have to crawl, going much deeper into the rubble then many rescuers can, to search. They also train to react differently when finding survivors as opposed to bodies, so those nearby know what to expect when the dogs come back.

Because of her age, Frida often has to take breaks during search and rescue missions. She and other older dogs often suffer from exhaustion for their efforts, but they are properly taken care of and allowed a day of rest to recuperate before going back out.

Frida’s Legacy, A Hero And Symbol Of Hope

(Image Credit: AFP Contributor/Getty Images)

Because of Frida’s legendary status in the wake of the earthquakes of Mexico city, she and her handler, Mr. Salinas, have now been memorialized in statue form. Frida saved at least twelve lives during that time. The people of Mexico celebrate her as a symbol of hope.

A mural also was created to honor Frida and her four-legged colleagues.

It’s expected that she will eventually step down to be a mentor to future rescue dogs, but for the time being, Frida is still working diligently to be the best rescue dog she can be.

Have you heard of Frida before? Do you know of any other rescue dogs who deserve a mention in our Historical Hounds series? Let us know in the comments below!

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