Updated Nov 17, 2022, 12:01pm EST
South America

Frida, the hero dog who rescued dozens of earthquake survivors, has died at 13

Karina Tsui is a Breaking News reporter at Semafor. You can reach her at ktsui@semafor.com. Sign up for Flagship, our daily newsletter that distills what’s happening in the world into a concise, insightful morning read.


Sign up for Semafor Flagship: The daily global news briefing you can trust. Read it now.

Title icon

The News

Frida, a search-and-rescue dog who was hailed as a hero for locating survivors in earthquakes across Latin America, died on Tuesday of natural causes, the Mexican Navy announced. She was 13.

Title icon

Know More

Born in 2009, the honey-colored labrador first impressed her coaches after she completed her trainings as a search-and-rescue dog in a record time of eight months.

She then spent her life — in goggles and neoprene boots — sniffing for survivors in the aftermath of earthquakes and other natural disasters. She rescued a total of 55 people in her lifetime and was honored with a Mexican postage stamp in 2018.

Rescue dog Frida and her handler work after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico
REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Frida found 12 people alive beneath the rubble. She also assisted in a rescue mission after a 2017 landslide in Ecuador, before becoming a household name for her talents during an earthquake in Mexico City that same year.

Title icon


In a tribute to Frida, the Secretary of the Mexican Navy said, “In the uncertainty, your bark was hope. With your nobility you left a pawprint in our hearts. Your googles and little boots gave us life. You were a symbol of union and solidarity of the Mexican people.”