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Psychosocial support tent in quake-hit Turkiye named after Mexican rescue dog, Proteo

March 14, 2023 at 4:45 pm

Mexican rescue dog Proteo’s portrait painted on a transformer building in Izmir, Turkiye on March 12, 2023. [Halil Şahin – Anadolu Agency]

A group of volunteer teachers in earthquake-hit south-eastern Turkiye named their psychosocial support tent “Proteo”, in honor of a Mexican rescue dog who died while searching for survivors in the area, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The 18 volunteers went to Adiyaman province from the neighbouring Sanliurfa, both of which were hit hard by the last month’s devastating quakes, and set up a psychosocial support tent for children, about two weeks ago.

Speaking to Anadolu, volunteer Esra Ayyildiz expressed the warm feelings of gratitude that the team felt for the deceased Proteo. “Proteo, our dear animal friend, was our dog who came to Turkiye from Mexico for search and rescue operations, but died here.”

“We wanted to name our tent after him, to commemorate and not forget the support he showed us.”

Pictures of the hero canine decorate both the outside and inside of the tent, which has been open for about two weeks.

The specially trained 9-year-old K9, who was serving with the Mexican search and rescue team in Adiyaman, died after a severe injury in the line of duty in Adiyaman.

READ: Dogs in Uzbek team played crucial role during search, rescue operations in quake-hit Turkiye

“Our main goal here was to immortalise the name by giving it to the tent,” another teacher, Yunus Baylan, told Anadolu.

“When we named our tent Proteo, there were some people who did not know the name and thought it was an abbreviation,” he said, adding that they told visitors the rescue dog’s story.

At least 48,448 people have been killed by the earthquakes that struck on 6 February, according to official figures.

More than 13 million people have been affected by the powerful quakes that rocked 11 Turkish provinces – Kahramanmaras, Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa.

WATCH: Canines join the earthquake rescue effort in Turkiye