Kaos, hero dog of Amatrice 2016 earthquake in Italy, found dead from suspected poisoning

ITALY: Aerial Video Shows Earthquake Damaged Amatrice Blanketed in Snow January 211:37

The Italian town of Amatrice, hit by a devastating earthquake in August 2016, lay under a blanket of snow on January 21, as seen in this aerial video from the Italian fire service. A bell tower at the Sant’Agostino church in the city collapsed as a result of the quakes, Le Repubblica reported. The earthquakes and heavy snow triggered avalanches and knocked out roads and power lines to communities in the central Lazio, Marche and Abruzzo provinces. Credit: Vigili del Fuoco via Storyful

Rescue and emergency services personnel searches for victims with a dog in the central Italian village of Amatric. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP

THE fatal poisoning of a rescue dog used to find survivors in a quake in Italy is sparking calls for tougher penalties against such attacks.

The owner of Kaos, a German shepherd, reported he was poisoned in his garden. Police are investigating the dog’s death.

Kaos was deployed in Amatrice, a town destroyed by a 2016 quake, to sniff out survivors and bodies. The dog also helped in other searches for missing persons.

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

Hero dog Kaos with his owner Fabiano Ettore. Picture: Facebook/Fabiano Ettore

Hero dog Kaos with his owner Fabiano Ettore. Picture: Facebook/Fabiano EttoreSource:Supplied

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.

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 August 24, 2016.

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

Politician Michela Brambilla told AP on Monday that she hoped Kaos’ death would hasten passage of a law she proposed earlier this year. Dog poisonings aren’t uncommon in Italy.

Three Cabinet ministers also joined the call for crackdowns on such poisonings.

Brambilla said: “Kaos’ death has touched the conscience of the Italian people.”