Former Drug-Sniffing Dog Roger Transforms into Hero Rescuer After Taiwan Earthquake

by Lisa

In the aftermath of Taiwan’s most powerful earthquake in 25 years, Roger, a former drug-sniffing dog, has emerged as an unlikely hero, aiding search teams in locating survivors amidst the devastation.

The 7.4-magnitude quake, which struck the island on Wednesday, has claimed the lives of at least 13 individuals and left over 1,140 injured. As rescue efforts persist amid the challenges of landslides, rockfalls, and aftershocks, Roger’s unexpected contribution has garnered attention and praise.


Footage released by the fire department captures Roger, an eight-year-old Labrador, perched atop a boulder along a hiking trail near Hualien’s Taroko National Park. Despite his dismissal from drug detection duties due to excessive friendliness, Roger’s keen instincts proved invaluable in the search for survivors.


Mayor Chen Chi-mai of Kaohsiung hailed Roger’s role in a Facebook post titled “The Paw Paw Team’s feat,” emphasizing how the canine’s behavior signaled the presence of a trapped individual, leading to their rescue.


Roger, trained for rubble pile search and rescue missions, wasted no time in springing into action. His handler, Lee Hsin-hung, recounted Roger’s swift success in locating a survivor within a mere five minutes of commencing the search, navigating unfamiliar terrain with confidence.


Although Roger’s retirement is imminent, his legacy of dedication and service continues to inspire. Despite his playful demeanor, Roger’s effectiveness in crisis situations has earned him respect and admiration.

Roger’s gallant efforts are mirrored by other canine heroes, such as Wilson, a three-year-old Jack Russell terrier, who, despite initial doubts about his abilities, displayed remarkable determination in locating two victims amidst the quake’s aftermath.

As Taiwan grapples with the aftermath of the earthquake, the resilience and valor of individuals like Roger and Wilson serve as beacons of hope amid adversity.


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