Amidst the destruction and rubble left by an earthquake in Mexico City, a trained search and rescue dog is saving lives. A dog named Titan and his handler, Mauiricio Pantoja, were in Mexico City for a commemoration ceremony in remembrance of another earthquake that rattled Mexico 32 years earlier. The 8.0 quake on September 19, 1985 killed thousands of people, and the ceremony was organized to honor those who died alongside the rescue agencies that saved many others.
No one expected the disaster to repeat itself on the anniversary of that dark day, but when the ground started shake, it was an incredible coincidence that one of the country’s best search and rescue canines was already on site and ready to work. Titan and Pantoja immediately responded to the city’s call for help after the 7.1 quake shook Mexico City on Tuesday. Titan used his powerful sense of smell and intensive training to sift through the rubble of toppled buildings.
After tireless hours of searching, Titan has found 26 people so far. The quake has resulted in the deaths of over 200 people and injured thousands, but there are still thought to be people struggling to survive. They’re buried beneath what’s left of the city, and dogs like Titan are working to minimize the death toll. As the rescue efforts continue, Titan and his handler will keep searching.
In the wake of natural disasters like the earthquake in Mexico, highly trained dogs are an integral part of the rescue effort. Their sensitive noses pick up scents humans can’t, and their stamina, athleticism, and motivation are invaluable. Titan is working alongside several other search and rescue dogs as they assist the local police and fire departments.
While devastation caused by earthquakes is a part of Mexico’s past, dogs like Titan are working toward a future where people survive thanks to hard working dogs and their dedicated handlers. The rescue efforts haven’t stopped, and Titan will continue working until he’s found every survivor he can.
Featured Image Source: Twitter/Pablo Flores