Remembering the Bravery of the 9/11 Search and Rescue Dogs

It’s been 14 years since the hijacked planes flew into the Twin Towers. On this day, as we remember all those lost in the tragedy and all the brave first-responders and the heroes who helped save lives that fateful day, let’s not forget about the invaluable services provided by the 9/11 Search and Rescue Dogs.

You may not realize just how big of a role dogs played in the rescue and recovery. An estimated 300-350 dogs assisted in scouring the rubble for signs of life. Hundreds of hardworking dogs from around the country came to New York City (and to the Pentagon) to help in the search and rescue efforts after the terrorist attacks. “At Ground Zero, the dogs worked every day to help in search and rescue with their volunteer handlers for an average of 10 days. They had day shifts and night shifts lasting anywhere from 12 to 16 hours searching for survivors and human remains while comforting victims and rescue workers.” (Source: DogTime)

At this point in time, there is only one known 9/11 Rescue Dog still alive…making us realize how woefully short dogs’ lives are.  The lone survivor, Bretagne, a Golden Retriever, was honored with a special Dog’s Best Day, a stylish celebration in New York City on her 16th birthday earlier this week. This video shows some of the uber-cool surprises that were bestowed upon Bretagne:

Four years ago, photographer Charlotte Dumas put together a photo series called “Retrieved”, featuring portraits of some of the retired 9/11 dogs. With the help of FEMA, Dumas was able to locate and capture stunning portraits of 15 of these heroes. To see these beautiful portraits, click here.

On this day, please remember and honor all of the brave canine heroes who served in the 9/11 aftermath.

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7 thoughts on “Remembering the Bravery of the 9/11 Search and Rescue Dogs

  1. Hi, dear Michele!

    The video you offered us which follows 9-11 rescue and recovery dog Bretagne and her owner through their perfect day in New York brought tears to my eyes. Surely Bretagne must be near the end of her life now and I am very thankful that she received the key to the city and other honors while she is still with us. I also appreciated viewing the portraits of the other 9-11 dogs. All have dignity. All worked hard and sacrificed as much as did the human rescue and recovery teams at Ground Zero. God bless Bretagne. God bless them all. A special place in heaven awaits them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cried watching that video too Shady! It was heartwarming for sure. And indeed, those dogs earned their angel wings at Ground Zero, didn’t they? Glad you enjoyed the video and the portraits!


  2. This is a wonderful post. I remember the dogs at the site and how the rescue people said dogs get depressed as well so every once in a while someone had to be found alive just so the dogs felt better. I am glad you are honouring these heroes also

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Birgit. I’m glad you liked my post. Hard to think that most of those S&R dogs from 9/11 are gone now. But their legacy lives on forever…


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