Italy earthquake 'hero dog' found dead

Fabiano Ettore and his German shepherd dog Image copyright Fabiano Ettore

The owner of a dog called Kaos, which helped with rescue efforts after an earthquake in Italy in 2016, says it has died after being poisoned.

A Facebook post by Fabiano Ettore, the owner of the German shepherd, has been shared more than 60,000 times.

In it, Mr Ettore said: "Keep up your work up there, keep looking for the missing and saving lives".

Kaos lived with his owner in the town of Amatrice in the province of Rieti, in central Italy.

The heaviest loss of life occurred in the town during the magnitude-6.2 earthquake, which struck in the early hours of 24 August 2016.

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Media captionIn the heart of earthquake-hit Amatrice in Italy

The German shepherd was hailed Italy's "hero dog" after finding survivors buried beneath the rubble in the hours after the earthquake.

Mr Ettore wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday: "Missing since last night... a German shepherd who answers to the name of Kaos. If you see him, contact me."

Less than an hour later, Mr Ettore posted a photo on Facebook of his dead dog.

He said: "Keep up your work up there, keep looking for the missing, and saving lives. You worked day and night. You were a loyal friend. We shared everything. Run, my friend, run, and don't stop."

Mr Ettore also attached a photo of his dog's grave to the post.

'A big, strong hug to your human companion'

More than 50,000 people since Saturday have tweeted using the the term Kaos - the name of Mr Ettore's dog.

And more than 12,000 people have tweeted using the the term Amatrice - the name of the town where the earthquake happened in 2016.

A total of 81% of people tweeting using either term are aged between 13 and 24.

@Hopeesperanz tweeted: "#Kaos you left an enormous void. A big, strong hug to your human companion #FabianoEttore"

@ignoto566 tweeted: "Some human beings abandon or kill animals for no reason."

By Victoria Park, UGC & Social News

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