False Image of Rescue Dog Circulating on Social Media Following Turkey-Syria Earthquake

False International

By February 6, more than 36,000 people were killed, and tens of thousands were injured by the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria. The event caused widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, leaving thousands of people homeless.

Several countries sent rescue teams and rescue dogs to Turkey during this massive crisis. However, misleading information has been circulating amidst the chaos on social media. Some social media users have shared outdated and irrelevant images of rescue animals, wrongly claiming that they depict the earthquake’s aftermath. We have investigated the falsely-claimed picture that is currently spreading on the internet.

Social Media Claim

Recently, there is a picture depicting a dog as a rescue worker in the recent Turkey-Syria earthquake, with the caption:

“This is how a dog, after a shift searching for the ruins in Turkey, found 10 people and saved their lives. Technology is advancing, but the smell detectors these creatures have have not yet been invented by modern technology. So RESPECT ALL DOGS IN THE WORLD! Credits: Branko Mikic”.

Source | Archive

The photo, which shows a dog covered in dirt and mud, has been shared widely, with many users praising the bravery of the animal.

However, we found that this image is not from the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria.


We began our investigation by running a reverse image search to find the origins of the viral image, and it led us to various websites containing this dog’s picture. Below is an instance of the image being published first in March 2014.

Source | Archive

This photo was captured during a rescue mission in Oso, Washington, on March 30, 2014, by a Reuters photographer, Rick Wilking.

During that incident, a massive mudslide hit the area, causing the deaths of 43 people. The dog in the photo was one of the rescue workers who searched for victims in the aftermath of the disaster.

The dog in the photo is a trained search and rescue dog deployed to help find survivors in the mudslide. Read more about the event and this dog here. (Archive)

Rescue Dogs in Turkey-Syria Earthquake Incident

Although the dog in the above picture has no connection to this Turkey-Syria incident, many countries have sent rescue dogs and staff to help find the victim under the ruins in Turkey and Syria. All teams are working hard and helping discover many victims in different areas. Read more about foreign rescue teams here. (Archive)


In conclusion, the image of the dog being shared on social media, claiming to be one of the rescue dogs in the recent Turkey-Syria earthquake, is false. The photo is from a rescue mission that took place in Oso, Washington, in 2014.


Title:False Image of Rescue Dog Circulating on Social Media Following Turkey-Syria Earthquake

Fact Check By: Fact Crescendo Team 

Result: False

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