2 subcategories – Frida The Rescue Dog, Who Saved Lives During the 2017 Mexico Earthquake, Retires After 10 Years
After being part of over 50 rescue operations, saving dozens of lives and finding over 40 bodies in disaster areas, Frida, a 10-year-old Labrador retriever, is calling it quits. The Mexican Navy held a ceremony for Frida that was part of “International Rescuer Day” in Mexico this past Sunday. Frida was honored with a toy that the Mexican government said: “symbolized the beginning of her new life.”
Frida became a national hero in Mexico during deadly earthquakes that killed more than 300 people in Mexico City in 2017.
After a disastrous magnitude-7.1 earthquake rocked Mexico in September 2017, the pup became a household name. Two devastating earthquakes shook Mexico just days apart killing more than 300 people, including 205 in Mexico City. The quakes destroyed and caused major damage to multiple structures.
Frida helped in rescue efforts in both disasters as she assisted in finding more than 40 bodies and saving 12 lives. She was famously captured sniffing her way through rubble as part of the Mexican navy’s canine unite. Images showed the K-9 wearing goggles and neoprene booties as she joined first responders looking for the children that died in a school in Mexico City during the earthquake.
In total, there were 15 dogs that were deployed during the search and rescue but Frida quickly garnered the most attention. “Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief,” Eduardo Redondo, a Deputy Naval Minister, told the BBC.
Frida’s journey as a rescue dog began before the devastating 2017 earthquake.
Ten-year-old Frida was part of multiple rescue missions involving earthquakes not only in Mexico but also in Ecuador in 2016 and Haiti in 2010. Frida was also part of rescue efforts in 2013 after an explosion at the headquarters of Mexican state oil company Pemex. She was also part of the rescue team that helped find victims after the 2012 landslide in Guatemala.
Frida was honored with a statue last year for her rescue efforts.
Frida’s international fame has made her a national symbol of Mexican strength and pride. Last summer she received a bronze statue on her honor, along with her trainer, Israel Arauz, by her side, at a park in Puebla City.
The plaque on the statue reads: “Memorable symbols of strength that Mexicans can have when we decide to unite for a greater cause.”
People on social media expressed their gratitude for Frida on an amazing career.
There has been so much love and appreciation for Frida after news broke that she was calling it a career. People who never knew or even previously heard of her took to social media to share their appreciation for Frida’s work.
“Today Frida, the heroic Mexican Navy rescue dog, retires. She saved many lives and during the Mexico City earthquake of 2017, she became a national hero and symbol of hope. GRACIAS FRIDA!,” one user wrote.
Even actor Chris Evans chimed in on Frida’s retirement asking: “What did we do to deserve dogs?” I think after hearing Frida’s incredible story we are all asking ourselves the same thing.
“Frida stole the heart of all Mexico and thousands more abroad… Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief,” said Deputy Naval Minister Eduardo Redondo, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). “Frida, mission accomplished, with honor.”