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.
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.
Every year as we move away from the events of 9/11, I find the images of the towers falling don’t impact the way they use to. I now try to focus on individual stories from that day to help remind me of the emotions I felt. This year I want to focus on the dogs of 9/11 pic.twitter.com/8vFeAcntcp— Clays & Birds (@ClaysandBirds) September 11, 2019
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.
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.
Appollo was the first dog at ground zero. He arrived on the seen 15 minutes after the attack. He nearly died from falling flames and only survived because he previously fell in water and was still wet. He died in November of 2006 pic.twitter.com/25RQ2lKqH4— Clays & Birds (@ClaysandBirds) September 11, 2019
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.
Ricky was the smallest SAR dog at ground zero. This was crucial for search operations as he could reach spots other dogs couldn’t. He would frequently go places his handler couldn’t see. He worked 10 days straight on the night shift. pic.twitter.com/vCu4Dul2Sl— Clays & Birds (@ClaysandBirds) September 11, 2019
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.