10 old pictures of dogs misrepresented in Turkey-Syria earthquake
Claims include the dogs in the pictures saved numerous people
Claim: Numerous pictures of dogs have surfaced on the Internet with the claim they were part of rescue operations following the devastating Turkey-Syria earthquakes in February 2023.
Fact: Many of these photos are not recent or related to the Turkey-Syria earthquakes in February 2023.
On 6 February 2023, Turkey and Syria were hit by two severe earthquakes — measuring 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter magnitude scale — leaving over 37,000 people dead, as of writing time, and flattening hundreds of buildings.
On 13 February 2023, Twitter user @AriaaJaeger posted a picture (archive) of a muddied dog standing on a road with a leash around its neck. Ariaa — who has a legacy verified account — captioned the image as follows:
“This dog in Turkey found and saved 10 people in one shift. Their ability to smell far exceeds current technology. Dogs are more sensitive than many humans and they love unconditionally. Be like a dog. ❤️🐶”
Fact or fiction
Soch Fact Check used reverse image search tools to ascertain that the picture is from March 2014 and shows Tryon, a rescue dog from the United States who was part of a search for victims of a mudslide in Washington.
“Tryon the rescue dog waits to go through the decontamination area at the mudslide after searching for victims in Oso, Washington March 30, 2014.”
“Thumbs up to all the service dogs in Turkey doing Search and rescue #dogs”
“Frida, a rescue dog belonging to the Mexican Navy, with her handler Israel Arauz Salinas, takes part in the effort to look for people trapped at the Rebsamen school in Mexico City, on September 22, 2017, three days after the devastating earthquake that hit central Mexico. OMAR TORRES—AFP/Getty Images.”
Twitter user @Jasmine24688377 (archive) posted a picture of a dog holding its paw next to the hand of its guardian, a human who appears to have been trapped under rubble. The tweet is captioned as follows:
“A dog cries for the rescue of its owner from the rubble of Turkey’s earthquake…”
Soch Fact Check found the picture on the British stock photography agency Alamy’s website here (archive). The image, which was uploaded on 18 October 2018 and is credited to photographer Jaroslav Noska, is captioned as follows:
“Dog looking for injured people in ruins after earthquake.”
It shows at least four rescue dogs standing alongside emergency response officers.
The stories were about the search dogs who helped during emergency relief operations after the 2020 Aegean Sea earthquake that also hit Turkey’s Izmir city.
@gyanjarahatke — who has a verified blue check mark because it is subscribed to Twitter Blue, an $8-a-month service — captioned the photo as follows:
“Dogs are working day and night to save people’s lives in Turkey and Syria ❤️ Hero 😘 #TurkishEarthquake”
The photo was also included in a now-deleted tweet originally posted on 31 October 2020. It is accompanied by the following caption:
“Bu hayvanları sadece işimiz olduğunda sevelim işimiz olmadığında sokağa atalım veya zehirleyelim olmasın sahip çıkalım, unutmayalım onlar da bir can. [Let’s love these animals only when we have a job, let’s throw them out on the street or poison them when we don’t have a job, let’s not forget that they are a life too.]”
“One of the loveliest and rarest pictures we have ever seen ! Turkish #imam Juma is kissing hands of a #Dog who saved 3 people during the #TurkeyEarthquake”
We first found a similar photo in a 3 January 2012 blog (archive), but it shows a different man, so we reverse-searched it again and were led to a 27 October 2011 article (archive) by Polish tabloid Super Express, titled “POZNAŃ: Były ksiądz, Tomasz Jaeschke odszedł z kościoła, żeby zbawiać psy [POZNAŃ: Former priest Tomasz Jaeschke left the church to save dogs]”.
Soch Fact Check found the earliest instance of the photo published in an article here on University of Malta Senior Lecturer Dr Andrew Azzopardi’s blog — 14 October 2011 (archive) — and the first upload on Wikimedia Commons on 11 October 2011 (archive) by user Palukku, with ‘Own Work’ as the source.
The image is accompanied by the hashtags: #goldenretriever, #goldenretrieverpuppy, #turkey, #earthquake and #TurkeyEarthquake.
Soch Fact Check found through reverse image search tools that the picture is not recent but from 4 January 2019.
It is available at the Canadian royalty-free stock photography company iStock’s website here (archive), where it is credited to photographer Jaroslav Noska. It can also be found on Adobe Stock (archive).
The image is accompanied by a caption explaining why dogs are part of rescue work.
“A US K9 dog searches through the rubble in Kathmandu for a live human scent as Nepalese and US search and rescue teams watch him on April 30, 2015. The US team was looking for two more survivors who were allegedly speaking with rescued teenager Pemba Lama, who was pulled out of the rubble hours earlier. His was rescue hailed as a miracle by medics and met with cheers from crowds of bystanders who massed to watch the drama unfold. (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)”
Facebook user ‘Franklin D Ohlin’ posted a picture (archive) of a black-and-brown dog in a yellow jacket, linking it to the rescue operations following the Turkey-Syria earthquake. The following caption accompanies the post:
“It’s come to This…frankly “Smile” the Rescue Dog … Working member of Hungarian search and rescue team sent to southern Turkey earthquake zone..”
Meshcheryakova describes themself as “a photographer and videographer of dogs” and has uploaded images of the same dog from different angles here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive) on Shutterstock, where they go by the name ‘Masarik’.
Facebook page ‘Elizabeth Wittelsbach’ posted it and included four hashtags — #turkey and #earthquake — in its caption.
However, we found that this is a picture of the same dog who was photographed by Jaroslav Noska.
Death of Proteo
— @SEDENAmx (@SEDENAmx) February 12, 2023
Proteo had arrived with a rescue team from Mexico to help in the emergency operations in Turkey.
Conclusion: All of the photos we found and investigated are old and not related to the 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.