Frida will be one of the most cited names when remembering the earthquake of September 19, 2017 in Mexico. The rescue bitch has become the representative of these dogs who have been dedicated to identifying people under the rubble. It has also become a symbol of hope spread through the media; hope that they were still survivors and that they could be found by dogs like the famous Labrador. The love and admiration for the bitch has caused organizations to encourage the construction of a statue in his honor, and Twitter has even created the emoji of the rescuer.
Amid this informational and social impact, a publication caused controversy by overshadowing the work of rescue dogs. In his Facebook account, Animal Unit, based in Peru, said that the training that dogs were subjected to in order to rescue violates the rights of animals. "I did not die 'rescuing' He killed me by training me to risk my life against my will for human purposes," the text said. They were not talking about Frida but, indirectly, the critic also included the bitch turned into a viral phenomenon.
Óscar Linares, co-founder of Animal Unit, explained that they had received from critics to insults or congratulations for exposing a conflict that they hope will begin to debate. "We do not want to hurt sensibilities, but we take into account that we will not stop having our point of view within the animal rights movement." Within the theoretical framework, we have the intelligence to do this kind of rescue but without using animals, "he said. Linares in an interview with Hipertextual.
The proposal of organizations like Animal Unit is to promote "ethical alternatives" in any area of daily life instead of using animals for it.
The publication caused a stir in social networks after the rescue dogs in the earthquake last September 19, although the animal unit confounder claims to have been "tinged with confusion", among other things, by the photograph used in the shared post on Facebook. The image is of Ariel, a rescue dog supposedly deceased in Mexico after the earthquake. According to the organization, this photograph was used as an archive image and they were unaware that it was the famous can. On the other hand, Óscar Linares stressed that from Peru do not pretend to belittle the work of these dogs, but they do hope to start the debate in order to progressively end this practice. "We are not judging the managers, or the people who openly support the training."
We know that they are people who do not want to hurt or harm dogs. For this reason the debate revolves around what we can do from now on, what more ethical options we have or which we can create collectively.
To understand his point of view, Linares proposes an analogy between rescue dogs and tigers in the circus or bullfights. Tigers, for example, can be treated without violence in a circus and there may be no physical damage, but they are forced to forget their habitat and their natural behavior to make them a part of the show. In the case of dogs, these can save a relative, "is a case that has occurred on numerous occasions and will continue to occur," says the co-founder, but that behavior is forced to be repeated to rescue unknown people and regardless of the risks when they enter collapsed buildings.
"As the animal is domestic, it seems more natural, and we have fewer problems with it, but if they were lions then we would be more indignant because that is more evident, the domestication of wild animals we see it bad but as dogs live with us that we see it more normal ", justifies Óscar Linares.