Hero earthquake rescue dogs treated to first class flights home by Turkish Airlines

Hero earthquake rescue dogs treated to first class flights home by Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines said the gesture was the 'least we could do' for the heroic dogs who helped in the recent earthquake rescue efforts.
2 min read
03 March, 2023
Rescue dogs were flown in from around the world after the February 6 earthquake [Turkish Airlines]

Rescue dogs who were flown into Turkey to help find survivors of the devastating 6 February earthquake were treated to first and business-class seats on their trips back home, Turkish Airlines has revealed.

The dogs, who came from countries including Mexico, Kyrgyzstan, China, Thailand, the US, and Hungary, were dispatched to Turkey in the immediate days after the quake, which killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and Syria.

"It was the least we could do to show our appreciation for these heroic dogs’ sincere and heroic efforts," A Turkish Airline representative told reporters.

Some of the dogs who took part in rescue efforts were veterans of previous missions, including Mexico's 2017 earthquake.

Turkish Airlines
[Turkish Airlines]

The animals are trained to pick up the scent of humans trapped under rubble, giving their handlers signals when a scent is picked up.

Animals have featured prominently in the aftermath of the earthquake, with rescuers having pulled cats, dogs, rabbits, and other pets from the ruins.

On Thursday, rescuers saved a dog from a collapsed building 23 days after the earthquake. Footage of rescuers carrying and feeding the dog, named Aleks, was widely shared on social media. 

Turkish Airlines, which has offered free flights for evacuees, has also provided free pet carriers at airports for evacuees traveling with the airline.