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Türkiye honors Mexican rescue dog with training ground named after it

Anadolu Agency TÜRKIYE
Published May 29,2024
(AA Photo)

A dog training ground in Kayseri in central Türkiye has been named after Proteo, a Mexican rescue dog that participated in search and rescue efforts in the southeastern region of the country hit by earthquakes on Feb. 6, 2023.

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

Proteo, who had served with the Mexican Ministry of National Defense 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 Türkiye.

To honor 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 socialization, desensitization, approach towards street dogs, and obedience.

Cüneyt Canıdemir, an offficial with the municipality, told Anadolu: "Proteo participated in significant operations with the Mexican Ministry of National Defense and aided in the rescue efforts during the Kahramanmaraş 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.

Çağlar Danacı, 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 Feb. 10, 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 Türkiye on Feb. 6, 2023, taking over 50,000 lives. More than 14 million people were affected across 11 provinces in Türkiye in the disasters.