False: Image shows rescue dogs searching for injured people under rubble after February 6 earthquake in Turkey.

By: Rajini KG
February 10 2023

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False: Image shows rescue dogs searching for injured people under rubble after February 6 earthquake in Turkey.


The Verdict False

Old stock photos of dogs from the Alamy website were falsely shared as rescue dogs in Turkey following the earthquake.

Claim ID 7a7f5666


More than 21,000 people lost their lives in severe earthquakes that hit Syria and Turkey on February 6, 2023, and the days following. Many buildings collapsed in both countries, trapping people under the rubble. Rescue operations are ongoing. According to the BBC, Mexico, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Libya, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are all sending teams of search dogs and handlers to locations in both countries to help with rescue operations. Many images of rescue dogs from Turkey have gone viral, some claiming to show rescue dogs or dogs in search operations. Images were shared on Facebook with titles such as: "This picture was taken today from Turkey" and "The dog stands beside its owner while waiting for help." Some posts claimed, "These dogs have been specifically trained to help people from this tragedy in Turkey. Hats off to them." The images show dogs around and on the debris and rubble of collapsed buildings. 

However, this claim is false. The images are from 2018 and are unrelated to the recent rescue operation in Turkey and Syria.

In Fact

The images include a photo montage of two dogs – one with a blue collar and the other with a black collar – standing near debris. Two other images show a dog with a blue-collar close to a human hand seen stuck under rubble, and another image shows a dog with a red collar barking and standing on building debris. 

Our research found that the images date back to 2018. The same photos are found on Alamy, a stock photography website. These pictures were captioned "Dog looking for injured people in ruins after earthquake" and were uploaded on October 18, 2018, by Jaroslva Noska. The location of the photos has not been disclosed on the website.

The images were also shared on the iStock website, with the caption "Dog looking for injured people." These images were uploaded in January 2019 and were credited to Jaroslva Noska. 

Further, we found that in 2020, the same images were circulated with a misleading narrative. AFP, in its debunk report in 2020, mentions that stock photos of dogs taken in 2018 were falsely linked to the earthquake that hit Izmir in Turkey in 2020. The two images of dogs debunked by AFP in 2020 match the recent viral dog images circulating on social media.

The Verdict

Old dog pictures from a stock image website were misrepresented as being from the February 6 earthquakes in Turkey.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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