Dayko, a four-year-old rescue dog who saved 7 people from the earthquake rubble in Ecuador, has died from exhaustion. He had been working as a rescue dog for three and a half years.
Dayko took part in the rescue and relief efforts that followed the magnitude 7.8 quake of April 16 that claimed an approximate 650 lives, destroyed over 1500 buildings and left more than 20,500 people as homeless.
Dayko’s job was to find survivors in the rubble, leading to the rescue of at least seven people who might not have been otherwise found, if not for Dayko’s highly evolved sense of smell.
He became the face of hope for an entire nation with his rescue efforts in the aftermath of the disaster. Quite like Lucca, who led the fight against terror in Afghanistan.
After days of searching for quake survivors, Dayko suffered heatstroke last week which then led to a fatal heart attack.
All the heat, dehydration and colossal effort proved too much for the poor pooch. Despite the earnest efforts of the veterinarians, he couldn’t be saved.
“We regret to inform you that today the [fire service] is in mourning because [we] just lost Dayko who participated in the work of searching in Pedernales. This four legged friend gave his life in the line of duty. Thank you Dayko for your heroic efforts in Pedernales and in various emergencies where you were present, You held high the name of the K9 unit!”
~Facebook post by Fire department of City of Ibarra
Dayko was given an emotional farewell and funeral, attended by the fire fighters, the rescue workers (including dogs) and the citizens.
Thanks for all that you did in your so short a life, buddy! May you spread hope and love up in the doggy heaven…