Creating new perspectives since 2009

Turkiye honours Mexican rescue dog with training ground named after it

May 29, 2024 at 4:49 pm

Mexican rescue dog Proteo’s portrait painted on a transformer building in Izmir, Turkiye on 12 March, 2023 Halil Sahin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images]

A dog training ground in Kayseri in central Turkiye has been named after Proteo, a Mexican rescue dog that participated in search and rescue efforts in the south-eastern region of the country hit by earthquakes on 6 February, 2023, Anadolu Agency reports.

A 150-member team from Mexico, including the highly trained search and rescue dog, Proteo, had arrived in Turkiye to assist in rescue operations after the devastating earthquakes.

Proteo, who had served with the Mexican Ministry of National Defence for a decade, played a crucial role in several earthquake and landslide rescue missions in the country over the years.

It helped locate 29 deceased individuals and three survivors during the search and rescue operations in Turkiye.

To honour Proteo’s contributions, the Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality named the city’s dog training park after him.

The park offers free training services every Sunday for 45 owned dogs, including feeding, cleaning, care and vaccinations. Dogs receive training in socialisation, desensitisation, approach towards street dogs and obedience.

Cuneyt Canidemir, an official with the municipality, told Anadolu: “Proteo participated in significant operations with the Mexican Ministry of National Defence and aided in the rescue efforts during the Kahramanmaras earthquakes. Naming this park after him is a tribute to his invaluable service.”

“We’ve made significant strides in our training. People now understand their dogs better. We’ve been continuing our training for 14 weeks, supported by various competitions,” dog trainer, Burak Safa Bayram, highlighted the progress made in the training sessions.

Caglar Danaci, who attended the training with his dog, expressed gratitude to those involved in establishing the park. “Thanks to the equipment here, we can both entertain and train our dogs. It’s completely free. Our dog was quite unsocial, but coming here has helped overcome that,” he said.

Proteo fell ill during the ongoing search operations and passed away on 10 February, 2023. The park named in his memory stands as a testament to his legacy and the lifesaving work carried out by search and rescue dogs globally.

The earthquakes hit southern Turkiye on 6 February, 2023, taking over 50,000 lives. More than 14 million people were affected across 11 provinces in Turkiye in the disasters.

READ: Turkiye gifts puppy to Mexico after search dog’s death