Playful dog turned rescue hero captures hearts after Taiwan earthquake

Playful dog turned rescue hero captures hearts after Taiwan earthquakePlayful dog turned rescue hero captures hearts after Taiwan earthquake
via Taiwan News Formosa TV / YouTube
After the recent 7.4-magnitude earthquake that hit Taiwan, a dog once deemed unsuitable for drug detection has become a celebrated search and rescue hero, demonstrating the profound impact of second chances.
Key points:
  • Roger, a labrador retriever initially trained as a drug-sniffing dog, played a pivotal role in locating victims of Taiwan’s most severe earthquake in 25 years.
  • Despite failing in his original career due to his playful nature, his attributes and skills made him ideal for search and rescue.
  • The canine’s story has not only brought attention to the crucial role of rescue dogs in disaster scenarios, but also touched hearts across the self-governing island following the tragedy.
The details:
  • The earthquake, which struck Taiwan’s eastern coast, triggered landslides, shook bridges and caused significant structural damage. The death toll rose to 16 as of Thursday, with more than 1,100 people injured.
  • Initially trained as a drug-sniffing dog, Roger’s playful and distractible nature led to his reassignment to search and rescue. The career shift worked perfectly as his agility, boldness and unyielding spirit made him an invaluable asset to the Kaohsiung Fire Department’s rescue team.
  • His first mission was to look for survivors at a residential and commercial complex in Hualien after an earthquake in 2018. Since then, he has been involved in seven search and rescue operations.
  • In his latest mission, Roger helped locate the body of a 21-year-old woman along the Shakadang Trail at Taroko National Park in Hualien. After picking up a scent, the dog returned to the spot and refused to leave, catching the attention of his human colleagues.
  • With his latest contribution, Taiwanese media have dubbed Roger a “little hero.” His now-viral story has lifted spirits amid the tragedy, even for brief moments.
  • Roger, however, is set to retire later this year when he turns 9. Plans for his future include finding a loving adoptive home.
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