‘Her Bark Always Gave Hope’: Mexican Rescue Dog Frida Retires

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FILE – In this Sept. 28, 2017 file photo, Frida, one of three Marine dogs specially trained to search for people trapped inside collapsed buildings, wears her protective gear during a press event in Mexico City. Frida, a yellow Labrador retriever, retired Monday, June 24, 2019, from rescue work nearly two years after gaining international fame for searching for survivors in the rubble of a deadly 2017 earthquake in Mexico City. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

After participating in 53 rescue operations, saving a dozen lives and finding over 40 bodies in disaster zones, Frida, the beloved yellow Labrador retriever from Mexico’s Navy unit, has retired.

The Mexican navy celebrated the canine’s contributions by honoring her in a ceremony on Monday, as part of the International Rescuers Day.

“Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief,” said Deputy Naval Minister Eduardo Redondo.

The 65 pound and 10-year-old dog was part of rescue operations not only in Mexico but also in Ecuador and Haiti in 2010, after the deadly earthquake in Port-au-Prince. But it wasn’t until September 2017 that she gained international recognition on social media after the Mexican navy posted a video of her. 

In September 2017 two devastating earthquakes shook Mexico just days apart. The second one, on Sept. 19, killed more than 300 people, including 205 in Mexico City, and caused many structures to collapse. Frida assisted in rescue efforts in both disasters that month.

Wearing goggles and neoprene booties, Frida accompanied first responders looking for the children that perished in a school in Mexico City during the earthquake. The images traveled the world and became a trending topic to the point that celebrities like actor Chris Evans shared the video saying “What did we do to deserve dogs?”

Even though she didn’t rescue anyone during the aftermath of the earthquake in Mexico City, first responders agreed that Frida gave hope to people in the country and people watching the disaster from afar. 

“In social terms, this dog functioned like a transitional object because maybe she didn’t help us in anything real or concrete — meaning she didn’t rescue anyone — but she let us feel like there was hope and that there were things that could help us,” Fátima Laborda, a psychoanalyst and director of Casa Grana, a psychological assistance and research organization, told The Associated Press at the time.

Now, her gear has been hung up and members of the Mexican navy awarded their canine fellow with a chew toy for her to play in her upcoming phase.

Frida is expected to move to the countryside and help in the training of the rescue dogs next generation, according to Mexican authorities.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Thousands of pets are looking for their forever homes and News Channel 8 is On Your Side helping to make that happen in the Tampa Bay area.

We are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 17, 2019, to help find loving homes for animals in need.

More than 150,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015.

Now is the time for shelters to register by completing the online application located here. Organizations interested in participating in Clear the Shelters must complete the Commitment Registration form to ensure proper verification of all interested participants.

When registering, please make sure you select the TAMPA-ST.PETERSBURG-SARASOTA, FL region. This will put your shelter on our CLEAR THE SHELTERS online map, driving families to your shelter. 

Here are the local shelters that are offering no-cost or reduced-fee adoptions for this event:

  1. Citrus County Animal Services - 4030 S. Airport Rd, Inverness
  2. Humane Society of Polk County - 3195 Dundee Road Winter, Haven
  3. Barking Out Loud Rescue, Inc - 300 N Lake Drive, Lorida
  4. Paw Warriors, Inc. - 355 Spring Time Street, Spring Hill
  5. SPCA Florida - 5850 Brannen Rd S, Lakeland
  6. Friends of Strays Animal Shelter - 2911 47th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
  7. Pinellas County Animal Services - 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  8. SPCA of Hernando County - 9075 Grant St, Brooksville
  9. Humane Society of Tampa Bay - 3607 N Armenia Avenue, Tampa
  10. SPCA Tampa Bay - 9099 130th Ave North, Largo
  11. Highlands County Sheriffs Animal Services - 7300 Haywood Taylor Blvd, Sebring
  12. St. Francis Animal Rescue - 1925 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice
  13. FLUFF Animal Rescue - 11220 Park Blvd N, Seminole
  14. Manatee County Animal Services: Palmetto Shelter - 305 25th St W, Palmetto
  15. Manatee County Cat Town - 216 6th Ave E, Bradenton
  16. Pasco County Animal Services - 19640 Dogpatch Lane, Land O'Lakes
  17. St. Francis Society, Inc. - Pet Smart - 12835 Citrus Plaza Dr, Tampa
  18. The Humane Society of the Nature Coast - 7200 Mobley Road, Brooksville
  19. Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center - 440 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa
  20. Humane Society of Manatee County - 2515 14th Street W, Bradenton
  21. Save Our Strays Inc. Safety Harbor, FL - 3223 San Jose Street, Clearwater
  22. Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Section - 7115 De Castro Rd, Winter Haven
  23. Hernando County Animal Services - 19450 Oliver St., Brooksville
  24. Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA of Manatee County, FL - 5718 21st Ave W, Bradenton
  25. Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater
  26. Rescue Cats of Florida, 211 West Alexander Street, Plant City
  27. Precious Paws Rescue, 5164 S. Florida Avenue (Route 41), Inverness
  28. Hands Helping Paws Rescue, 53 West Bay Boulevard South, Lake Wales
  29. Cat Kids Rescue, 10500 Ulmerton Road, Suite 308, Largo
  30. Suncoast Animal League, 1030 Pennsylvania Ave., Palm Harbor
  31. Cat Haven Rescue of Tampa-Pasco County, 1231 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  32. Cat Haven Rescue of Pasco County, 8529 Little Road, New Port Richey
  33. Suncoast Humane Society, 6781 San Casa Drive, Englewood
  34. Rebels Rescue, 11665 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
  35. Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka city
  36. Cat Crusaders, Inc, 6248 Commerce Palms Drive, Tampa
  37. SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  38. Rescue Cats of Florida, 3313 Lithia Pinecrest Road, Valrico
  39. Countless Cats Rescue Inc., 3139 Duane Avenue, Oldsmar
  40. Cat Call Inc, Pet Smart 1051 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon
  41. Cat Call Inc, 11331 Causeway Blvd, Brandon

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