How Dogs Are Helping Survivors Of The Nepal Earthquake
Dogs are capable doing some truly amazing things. They assist humans in many different ways, from helping with everyday tasks to saving lives. Dogs will stay by our side through the toughest of times and help us pull through.
The earthquake in Nepal has caused devastation and as the people gradually begin to recover from recent traumatic events, there are a few dogs that are doing their part to help the Nepalese people. The earthquake that hit on April 25th was a level 7.8 and it killed 8,000 people. However, there were still some people still alive, trapped under debris.
The dogs in Nepal have been helping in a number of different ways.A rescue dog recent walked through the wreckage with a camera attached which showed the extent of the damage and destruction. This video gives a dog’s eye view of just how bad it is out there, and how much work there is to do to get things back on track. You can see the view by
Rescue dogs and specially trained search and rescue dogs have also been used to look for survivors amongst the rubble. To the dogs it’s a fun game of hide and seek, and they get rewarded with a toy, a treat or a fuss by their handler. To the people trapped they are a lifeline.
The dogs can be trained to find people that are alive, even if they are unconscious, which is crucial because these some people who are trapped alive may not be able to call for help. One dog helped to find a teenage boy who was trapped in the wreckage of a collapsed Kathmandu building.
Some of the dogs working in Nepal were rescue dogs who cannot live in a normal home because they were too hyperactive or have too much energy and need to do a job. Search and rescue is ideal for some of these rescue dogs who thrive in this sort of environment. They might have been overlooked as pets but as search and rescue dogs they have a real purpose and have achieved amazing things.
Specially trained, experienced rescue dogs and their handlers have also been searching for survivors. When the dog finds a survivor, they have a specific signal that lets their handler know what they have found. It’s usually something in their body language such as wagging their tail, sitting still or barking. The cue varies depending on what each individual handler has taught their dog. The dogs wear protective gear to help keep them safe while they are searching. For example, they wear a bell, a high visibility jacket and even boots to protect their paws from glass and debris.
Although potentially very dangerous, this work is extremely rewarding for the handlers who are risking their lives to try and save people. When their dog finds someone alive it must be an amazing feeling.