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Celebrating the incredible story of the heroic search and rescue dogs of 9/11

Search and Rescue dogs dog-serious
© Clays and Birds - Twitter

When the World Trade Center collapsed on 11th September 2001, thousands of rescue workers searched for life among the rubble, more than 300 of those heroes were dogs.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 11/09/2020, 17:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

As the world watched the devastating events unfold on their screens, a team of four-legged heroes were working tirelessly scouring the rubble that had once been New York’s Trade Center looking for survivors.

Almost 3,000 people lost their lives when the planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania in a terrorist attack that shook the world.

Four-legged heroes

Firefighters and emergency medics were dispatched to Ground Zero, along with 300 specialist canine search and rescue (SAR) teams in the hope to find life among the ruins. As dogs searched Ground Zero, Guide Dogs were leading people to safety from the burning towers.

In the days that followed, the dogs worked for days on 12-hour shifts looking for any remaining survivors or remains. Their presence also brought people a lot of comfort and hope.

Incredible canines

Apollo, a German Shepherd, was the first dog at Ground Zero just 15 minutes after the attack. He almost died by falling flames, but fortunately, he was still wet after having fallen into some water not long before.

The smallest dog at Ground Zero was little Rocky, a Rat Terrier who worked for ten days on the night shift and found several victims in the rubble.

All the dogs have now passed away, with Bretagne being the last pup to say her goodbyes in 2016.

Bretagne received a farewell fit for a hero, with rescue workers and firefighters lining the street to pay their respect for the last of the 9/11 canines.

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