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Four-year-old Baekgu, who lives in the Hongseong county, lives with a woman identified only as Kim, who is 93-years-old. The elderly dog owner was reported missing, prompting police to check security camera footage of a nearby farm and begin a search and rescue operation.
However, rescue efforts to trace Kim, who went missing on August 25, were faced with difficulty due to severe weather conditions of heavy rainfall battering the area.
Just over 40 hours later, the 93-year-old was found unconscious and collapsed in a rice field two kilometres from her home.
Rescue teams were able to detect her whereabouts after using a thermal drone, which not only picked up Kim’s location but also her pet Baekgu.
The tiny pup stayed by his owner’s side the entire time, despite cold temperatures and the rain becoming heavier.
His body temperature helped the rescue team detect Kim and managed to keep her alive, who had begun developing symptoms of hypothermia.
The woman was then transferred to a nearby hospital and is now recovering from the ordeal.
A South Chungcheong Provincial Government official explained: “Baekgu didn’t leave the elderly woman’s side, not even for a moment. Baekgu played a critical role in saving the grandmother who is suffering from dementia. Therefore, we decided to bestow the title of the honorary rescue dog.”
A police official also explained: “The reason the elderly woman who is in her 90s was able to survive for 40 hours is that the dog did not leave its owner’s side and kept her temperature from falling.”
Baekgu has since been hailed a hero by the people of South Korea, who was awarded for loyalty and courageous efforts on September 6.
A ceremony was held for the four-legged pet where crowds gathered to see Baekgu presented with a cake, crown and a floral garland.
The National Fire Agency had introduced a regulation last year that allowed the appointment of honorary firefighters, fire ambassadors and rescue dogs.
Baekgu has made history by becoming the country’s first-ever honorary rescue dog.
The heroic canine was reported to have been living with Kim for the past three years, after she saved the abandoned pup from being attacked by a larger dog.
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