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Malaysia’s heroic search and rescue dog Blake euthanized after battling cancer

In a poignant moment, Blake, the heroic search and rescue dog of Malaysia’s Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), was euthanized due to cancer.

This English Springer Spaniel, renowned for its role in disaster response, received the ‘Golden Performance’ medal posthumously for its bravery during the Batang Kali landslide tragedy, where 31 lives were lost.

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SELANGOR, MALAYSIA: The search and rescue dog belonging to the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), Blake, had to be euthanized at 4:38 p.m. on Monday after being diagnosed with cancer.

Blake, who was also known as a hero in the search and rescue operation for landslide victims in Batang Kali, Selangor last December, was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma on 15 August, as reported by Malaysian media outlet Sinar Harian.

In a statement released on Tuesday (19 September), the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (KPKT) announced that Blake was admitted once again to the Pet Dog Ward at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) on 14 September when he lost his appetite and showed signs of lethargy, in addition to receiving updates on his cancer condition.

“While in the ward for health examinations, this dog failed to respond to the medications and treatments provided by veterinarians.”

The lymphoma cancer detected in the dog had also become more aggressive, spreading throughout the body and growing larger.

“After discussions with Veterinary Specialist Dr. Nur Alimah Rahman, the department agreed to euthanize the search and rescue dog Blake,” the statement explained.

“This decision was made considering his sudden deterioration in health, the lack of hope for recovery, and to prevent the dog from suffering.”

“It also takes into account the welfare of the dog,” the statement added.

Blake was an English Springer Spaniel breed originating from the United Kingdom and became a part of JBPM in 2017.

The search and rescue dog had made significant contributions to the success of search operations conducted by JBPM nationwide, including locating drowning victims at Batu 13 Toll, Lorong 16, Kampung Kenangan, Selangor.

Furthermore, Blake was involved in search and rescue operations for a head of water at Titi Hayun near Yan, Kedah, and in locating victims trapped in Kampung Temelong, Karak, Pahang.

“The loss of Blake is deeply felt by all JBPM personnel, and his dedicated service will always be appreciated and remembered.

“Farewell, Blake,” it concluded.

Blake awarded “Golden Performance” for the search and rescue mission in the Batang Kali landslide incident

Blake was among the four K9 unit dogs from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) that was awarded the prestigious ‘Golden Performance’ medal in recognition of its contribution to the search and rescue operation of landslide victims in Batang Kali, Selangor, which occurred on 2022 (Dec 16).

The massive pre-dawn landslide had claimed the lives of 31 people, prompting rescuers to halt their search after finding the last body, that of a boy.

The tragedy occurred at an unlicensed campsite in Batang Kali, Selangor state, where 92 people, including many children, were sleeping when tons of soil and mud cascaded down a hill.

All the victims were Malaysian nationals, including 11 children, while 61 campers were rescued.

The search and rescue operation involved nearly 700 personnel from various government agencies, aided by police tracker dogs and heavy machinery.

According to authorities, the campsite lacked the necessary operating license.

Despite no heavy rain reported in the area that night, landslides are common in Malaysia during the year-end due to heavy rains.

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