A 7.1 magnitude earthquake recently rocked Mexico, and in Mexico City, 15 dogs came to the rescue. But few are quite as beloved as Frida, a 7-year-old Labrador who achieved Twitter fame. The Internet at first thought she’d found 52 people after the earthquake, and while that figure isn’t correct – she’s found 52 over the course of her whole career – it’s hard not to fall in love with a rescue dog in blue boots and goggles. Hit the jump to hear more about her tale.
Frida is part of the Mexican navy’s Canine Unit. According to the Los Angeles Times, she has helped to find 52 people after disasters over the course of her career – 12 of whom have been alive. Around two weeks ago, she detected the body of a police officer following an earthquake in Oaxaca. Now she’s on the hunt for people in Mexico City, after a 7.1 earthquake killed at least 300 people across five states in Mexico. According to Al Jazeera, rescue operations halted on Saturday following a new aftershock.
— SEMAR México (@SEMAR_mx) September 21, 2017
Frida, who’s named after famed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, has been searching for people after suiting up in a harness, protective goggles, and boots on her four paws. She was sent to the Enrique Rebsamen school last Tuesday, where other emergency workers found 25 people dead and 11 alive.
Her handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, said usually two other Belgian Malinois dogs, Evil and Echo, enter collapsed structures first, since they’re younger than Frida, each at a year-and-a-half old. If they detect someone, Frida goes in to confirm the find, typically taking no more than 20 minutes. According to Salinas, the dogs clue in rescue workers they might have found signs of life by barking. The dogs have had to hunt in spaces under 20 inches high. They’ve been able to crawl into places deeper than human rescue workers.
— SEMAR México (@SEMAR_mx) September 13, 2017
Frida doesn’t just come to the rescue in Mexico. Salinas said Frida also helped after an April earthquake in Ecuador last year.