Ronald Cordillera Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee and his men looks at the PNP Outstanding Service Medal given to Zeus, a male Belgian Malinois who turned from a rescued dog to a rescuer in Itogon, Benguet.

Cordillera cops honor rescued dog-turned rescuer

September 9, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 463 views

AN abused and severely malnourished dog rescued from his former owner is now the toast of the Cordillera Police Regional Office after he became the key in the recovery of the bodies of two landslide victims in Itogon, Benguet last month.

From rescued-to-rescuer, the hero dog named Zeus, a male Belgian Malinous, was awarded an Outstanding Service Medal and a Certificate of Recognition for his outstanding performance as a Cordillera police rescue dog, said Cordillera Police Regional Office director, Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee.

Lee said that Zeus contributed immensely in their effort to recover two victims of a landslide that struck the Antamok River in Barangay Loacan in Itogon, Benguet from August 17-20.

He said that Zeus used to be an abused animal before he was adopted and rehabilitated by a dog lover named Ruben Ventura.

The care of the animal was later transferred to Patrolman Cyrus Backeng by Ventura when he went abroad. Zeus is now among the search-and-rescue dogs of the Cordillera Police Regional Explosive and Canine Unit, Brig. Gen. Lee said.

Lee said that Zeus was brought to the landslide scene in Bgy. Loacan where he went to work in finding the victims buried under tons of rocks and soil.

“If not for that dog, we would be having difficulty in searching for the bodies of the victims in that landslide-hit river. Luckily, he brought our rescuers to the exact spot where the two were buried alive and we were able to recover and give them proper burial. Indeed, a dog is a man’s best friend,” the official said.

The victims were identified as Nestor Talangcag,54; and his live-in partner Maureen,57, both small-time gold panners living in Sitio Beda in Bgy. Loacan.

The two were doing their gold-panning activity at the Antamok River when the landslide struck due to heavy continuous rains.

Members of the Itogon Municipal Police Station, the local Bureau of Fire Protection, local barangay officials and civilian volunteers rushed to the site to immediately find the missing miners.

However, they were only able to discover the exact site where the two were buried with the arrival of Zeus.