Blake, valiant canine sniffer of Batang Kali landslide search, dies

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 — Blake, the canine sniffer and a key member of the search and rescue team that scoured the Batang Kali landslide site for victims, died yesterday.

The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) said in a statement issued this evening that Blake was euthanised yesterday at 4.38pm after doctors at the veterinary faculty in Universiti Putra Malaysia said the English Springer Spaniel was not responding to treatment.

Blake had battled with lymphoma, a type of cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. JBPM said Blake was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma on August 15 and was admitted to the university's veterinary faculty on September 14 after his condition deteriorated.

“After our discussion with veterinary expert Dr Nur Alimah Rahman...the (fire) department had agreed with the decision to put the canine sniffer Blake to sleep because of its condition was deteriorating rapidly, and there was no hope of treating it as well as to prevent the dog from suffering,” the department’s communication department said.

The seven-year old English Springer Spaniel, brought in from the United Kingdom, has been a member of the JBPM canine team since 2017.

The cadaver dog had served in several high profile search and rescue missions, including the discovery of drowning victims at Tol Batu 13, Lorong 16, Kampung Kenangan, Selangor, a water search and rescue missions near Yan, Kedah and helped scan the location of trapped victims in Kampung Temelong, Karak, Pahang.

Blake made headlines after the press caught news of the dog passing out of exhaustion after days of tirelessly searching for victims trapped under metres of thick mud and soil in one of the deadliest landslide incidents in the country last year.

Thirty one people were killed by the Batang Kali landslide in Pahang. Most of the victims were asleep at a campsite a few metres down from the slope that collapsed after hours of heavy rain.

Blake was among the 11 dogs deployed to scan and sniff out the victims. JBMP said the cadaver dog searched tirelessly for two days without any rest.

After news about the incident surfaced, millions of Malaysians took to social media to pour tributes and hailed the canine sniffer as a hero.

“Blake’s passing will be felt greatly by the JBPM family and we will forever cherish all those years of contribution and services it has given,” the department said.

“Goodbye, Blake.”