Heroic Rescue Dogs Retire, Start New Adventures with Adoptive Families


In a heartfelt, bittersweet ceremony held by Ecuador’s Fire Department, five unquestionably heroic rescue dogs, fondly named Ares, Kratos, Zeus, Titan, and Gaia, were put to a well-deserved retirement after seven years of life-saving service. This change of pace was not just a retirement, but also a transition to civilian life as the brave canines were handed over to welcoming, adoptive families.

Respected Lt. Col. Esteban Cardenas was visibly moved as he acknowledged the remarkable careers these courageous animals carried throughout their tenure. Ares, Kratos, Zeus, Titan, and Gaia were pioneers, the very first class of dogs to join the department’s rescue unit—a specialized team predominantly consisting of German shepherds and golden retrievers.

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Under Cardenas’s stewardship, these virtuous dogs performed astonishing feats. Their heroic acts ranged from earthquakes to landslides, their keen noses sniffing out survivors, thus providing a lifeline across the diverse landscapes of Ecuador. Their reach was not confined to the borders of their homeland; survival stories echoed as far as Mexico where they embarked on an acclaimed mission in 2017.

Cardenas made it clear, however, that the decision to retire these extraordinary dogs was not made lightly. An extensive series of veterinarian reports ultimately guided the choice, suggesting those faithful paws were ready for a slower pace of life.

An emotional Cardenas said, “Today, for us, is a day of mixed feelings. Ideally, we wouldn’t have wished for them to leave. We would have fervently preferred to keep them among our ranks.”

Post-retirement, the welfare of these dogs became an utmost concern. The selection of their new owners wasn’t a hasty decision and followed stringent guidelines. Cardenas ensured that not just anyone could adopt these esteemed heroes.

Valeria Zevallos, the thrilled new owner of Gaia, expressed her amazement at her new pet’s life-saving past. “Many adventures await us now. After her work adventures, we’re moving on to family adventures,” said a glowing Zevallos.

Thus, the ceremony serves as both the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new life for these noble creatures. Their stories are a testament to the loyalty and bravery that rescue dogs exhibit, a legacy hard to forget.