Turkey has gifted the Mexico army a new search puppy after the death of a Mexican rescue dog that helped in finding survivors of February’s massive earthquake.
Mexico deployed rescue dogs to Turkey after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook a huge area near the southern border with Syria, causing at least 54,000 deaths across both nations.
The three-month-old German Shepherd will join Mexico’s famous canine unit specialised in helping locate survivors in a country prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters. After an online vote, the black and beige canine was named Arkadas, which means ‘friend’ in Turkish. Arkadas will be trained by the same trainer who cared for Proteo, the German Shepherd rescue dog that died on mission in Turkey. Mexico paid homage to Proteo at a military funeral earlier this year.
Wearing a padded green harness with a tiny Mexican flag on it, Arkadas was welcomed to the force in a formal ceremony at a military base in Mexico City on May 3. The excited pup barked as Mexico’s national anthem played.
“Thanks to my friends from Mexico who welcomed me with great affection, I promise to do my best to be a great search and rescue dog,” the Mexican defense ministry tweeted on behalf of Arkadas.