‘Hero’ Dogs From Rescue Operation in Turkey Get First Class Seats on Airliners Flying Them Home

​Rescue Dogs from Thailand – Turkish Airlines

When the full extent of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria became apparent, rescuers came from around the world and across political boundaries to aid in the lifesaving efforts; and they brought their dogs too.

Trained rescue dogs and their handlers came from the US, Israel, El Salvador, Mexico, Qatar, South Korea, China, India, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, and 17 EU countries to lend their leashes and noses to help pull survivors out from under the rubble of buildings.

More than 140 dogs have so far arrived from outside Turkey and Syria to help, from a wide variety of breeds, though all require “boundless energy… to go until they drop,” one rescuer told Al Jazeera. 

Now on their journey back to their homes, the national carrier Turkish Airlines has given each and every pooch a first-class seat to honor their heroism.

A spokesperson for the airline told The Independent that it was “the least we could do to show our appreciation for these heroic dogs’ sincere and heroic efforts.”

“When people can’t cry for help anymore, dogs are one of the last chances for people to be found,” explained Linda Hornisberger in an interview with BBC. Hornisberger is a Senior Search Expert at the Swiss Disaster Dog Association (REDOG). “Dogs can cover a large area quickly and with their nose, they can detect the scent of the people under the rubble.”

Rescue Dog from China and its handlers – Turkish Airlines

The author of this story at GNN has flown Turkish Airlines only a few times, but considers it a superior flying experience to all other carriers by an immeasurable margin, and as such is not surprised in the least to see reports of their contributions to relief and rescue efforts.

These efforts have included reserving cargo holds on its flights for urgently needed supplies and medicine, tents, and other hygiene equipment, and providing free flights for evacuees.

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In total over 238,000 rescue personnel have been transported over 1,300 aid flights, and the company has donated 2 billion Turkish Lira ($105 million) to rescue efforts.

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Turkish Airlines chairman of the board and executive committee, Dr. Ahmet Bolat, also donated his March salary for “immediate aid efforts”.

A United Nations appeal has been put out for relief efforts that’s currently only 10% completed. All readers can use this link to join in and donate as Dr. Bolat did.

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