Frida the rescue dog — who became a symbol of hope after deadly Mexico earthquake — retires

By Danielle Garrand

/ CBS News

Mexican rescue dog "Frida", which took part in the search for victims of the last earthquake, is acknowledged during an exhibition at the headquarters of the Mexican Navy in Mexico City, on October 14, 2017. Getty

Frida the 10-year-old yellow Labrador retriever is the definition of a good dog. She spent her life helping to rescue survivors around the world in the wake of natural disasters — and now she's finally trading in her protective gear for something else: A dog toy.

After a long career saving people's lives, Frida has retired from rescue work, according to a press release on the site for Mexico's government. While she is credited for finding at least 41 bodies and a dozen people alive over her storied career, the pup became a household name in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Mexico in 2017.

Frida and her trainer were deployed in the wake of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked Mexico City and surrounding areas on September 19, 2017. Nearly 400 people died in the temblor and its aftershocks. Of those deaths, 228 were in the capital city.

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The pup worked as a sniffer with the Mexican navy's canine unit and became a symbol of hope for many in the area during the time. Fifteen dogs were deployed in the search, according to the Los Angeles Times, but Frida was by far the most popular on social media. Even actor Chris Evans tweeted about her.

What did we do to deserve dogs? https://t.co/JbVPd3eeZ1

— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) September 23, 2017

Last summer, a statue was unveiled in her likeness during a ceremony at an ecological park in Puebla City, Remezcla reported. Next to her statue is one of her trainer, Israel Arauz. A plaque in front of the duo reads: "Memorable symbols of the strength Mexicans can have when we decide to come together for great causes."

In addition to her internationally recognized work after the 2017 quake, she also worked on two international missions after earthquakes in Haiti and Ecuador, reports the Associated Press.

Develan estatua en honor de #Frida, la perrita rescatista, y de su cuidador el maestre Israel Arauz
👏🐕😍 pic.twitter.com/4SA6WfiHrh

— Alicia Salgado (@allizesalgado) July 19, 2018

Frida's retirement was part of the the navy's "International Day of the Rescuer." She was presented with a toy at the ceremony on Monday to celebrate and signify her retirement.

"Frida stole the heart of all Mexico and thousands more abroad… Her bark always gave hope, and in moments of pain and uncertainty she brought relief," said Deputy Naval Minister Eduardo Redondo, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). "Frida, mission accomplished, with honor."

First published on June 25, 2019 / 1:49 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MEXICO-QUAKE-RESCUE DOGS-ACKNOWLEDGMENT

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