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Heartbroken dog visits former home each day in search of family who died in Afghanistan quake

Dog revisits home
(Image credit: Samira SR, via Twitter)

A dog whose human family died when Afghanistan was struck by an earthquake has continued to visit his former home despite it being reduced to rubble.

The small pooch has been pictured standing amid the ruins of the house following the 6.1 magnitude quake which killed more than 1,150 people last Wednesday.

It would appear the loyal dog is hopeful of finding his family again, having been reported to be crying every day while searching around debris for signs of life.

According to Samira SR, an advocacy and communications professional working with the International Rescue Committee, the dog was found in Ochku village in Gayan, Paktika

“Neighbours said they took him with them to feed/take care of,” she tweeted. “He keeps coming back to the destroyed house and wails."

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The area was the worst hit by the earthquake which has left more than 2,000 people injured. Aid efforts are still under way, with UNICEF and the World Health Organization also assisting.

As expected, the news has been greeted with anguish. Twitter user Priya wrote: “Hope he finds an owner who loves and cares for him just as the ones before.” Marie M added: “I'm glad the neigbours are looking after him.”

Earlier this year, researchers found that the loss of a loved one can have a profound effect on dogs.

study (opens in new tab) at the University of Milan looked at how dogs respond when a close canine dies and found that 86% of owners showed a behavioral change.

“Dogs are highly emotional animals who develop very close bonds with the members of the familiar group,” said one of the study's authors Dr Federica Pirrone. “This means that they may be highly distressed if one of them dies and efforts should be made to help them cope with this distress.”

David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.