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'The Least We Could Do': Turkish Airlines Flew Rescue Dogs Who Helped With Earthquake In Syria And Turkey In Business Class The company said it wanted to "show our appreciation for these heroic dogs' sincere and heroic efforts."

By Gabrielle Bienasz

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtesy Turkish Airlines
Rescue dogs from Thailand, the company said.

Dogs who participated in rescue efforts after the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria got a special treat from Turkish Airlines — a ride in business class, rather than the cargo section, according to Insider.

"It was the least we could to do show our appreciation for these heroic dogs' sincere and heroic efforts," the company told the outlet.

An earthquake of 7.8 magnitudes hit parts of Turkey and Syria on February 6 and some 49,000 people have died as of February 24, per The New York Times. Two weeks later, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the region adding to the death totals.

Dogs from the U.S., Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Libya, have all taken part in recovery efforts, Insider noted.

A dog's sense of smell can pick out human remains from other types of remains (like animals) and find live survivors trapped in the rubble, especially after live rescuers have done their work. These types of dogs typically have a handler.

Some countries, like Mexico for example, have a national dog rescue team, which found fame in 2017 after helping find survivors after an earthquake hit Puebla, a state southeast of Mexico City.

Turkish Airlines shared photos of the dogs in transit with Entrepreneur, calling them "our heroic friends." The company flew the dogs back to their home countries, it added.

A dog from China flying home. Courtesy company

A dog from Kyrgyzstan. Courtesy company

A rescue dog from Thailand. Courtesy company

Another dog from Thailand. Courtesy company.

Aid has come to the country from various countries, aid organizations, and the United Nations, but efforts to get help into Syria have been difficult amid the country's ongoing civil war, which has been raging since 2011, Insider noted.

The dogs flown home by Turkish Airlines were done so for free, along with their handlers, and some were even treated to business class seats, Insider added.

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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