No 9/11 Tribute Can Be Complete Without Remembering the Dogs Who Helped Search For Survivors



A Golden Retriever rescue dog keeps his cool as he is transported out of the debris of the World Trade Center four days after the attack.




On 9/11, Roselle and her owner were on the 78th floor of World Trade Center Tower One when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the building. Remaining calm and composed, Roselle gracefully led her owner down 1,463 stairs and up Broadway, away from the WTC. Through dust and debris, she guided him to safety, finding an entrance to a subway station and saving her owner’s life.




A search dog and rescue workers look for survivors in the debris of the World Trade Center.




Eli the Belgian Sheepdog was no ordinary canine. He was one of the first therapy dogs to help comfort survivors and first responders in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Sherry Hanley, his handler, recalled how a first responder reacted to Eli when he met the dog. On her website, she wrote, “As the guard (I never got his name) stroked Eli’s head, I could see the smile come back to his face as he wiped away the tears.” Eli helped numerous workers in the days he was stationed wearing a harness with a deputy badge and a black band to remember the fallen.




K-9 search dogs with their handlers go back to duty following their treatment at a veterinary hospital unit a week after 9/11. As many as 100 dogs searched for victims on the site of the World Trade Center collapse, and were checked after each stint of duty. The dogs were bathed and checked for dehydration, chemical inhalation and other potential dangers.




A member of the French Urban Search and Rescue Task Force works with his Alsatian to uncover survivors at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center. 




Trakr the German Shepherd helped sniff out survivors from under the rubble of New York’s World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. His owner, James Symington, said he and Trakr were among the first search-and-rescue teams to arrive at Ground Zero, and were responsible for locating the last human survivor under about 30 feet of debris. Symington loved Trakr so much that he decided to clone him. Shortly before Trakr’s death, Symington entered “Best Friends Again,” an essay contest sponsored by BioArts International to find the world’s most “clone-worthy” dog. In June 2009, five Trakr clone puppies were born. The hero dog’s legacy lives on.




A working search-and-rescue dog squeezes in a nap with the FDNY during a break. 




Sage was 2 years old when she began serving her country. Just a few weeks after training, Sage was sent to work in the 9/11 aftermath at the Pentagon. She was later deployed to Iraq. After Sage died, a foundation was formed in honor of her heroism.




Kent Olson and his dog, Thunder, came all the way from Lakewood, Wash. to help search through the rubble for victims at the World Trade Center. Even though the trip was exhausting, Thunder did as much as he possibly could have done to help.




Police dogs geared up as they fearlessly headed into the WTC. 




A search dog is pictured sniffing through the rubble at the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, where the remains of the fallen World Trade Center’s twin towers were brought. 




Saul Apunte and his dog, Shannon, rest a bit after a day of searching for survivors. 




Suffolk County SPCA Chief of Department Roy Gross and his K-9, Cody, stand next to US Calvary’s Paul Morgan with rescue dog Cody Bear outside of the Chelsea Hotel during the WTC Search and Rescue Dog Benefit.




Keffler the German Shepherd sniffs around with his handler as they dig through rubble at the WTC. 




A canine officer and his dog take a nap together in front of the American flag.




Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days




Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight days




Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble




Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days




Bretagne takes a break from work at the 9/11 site with his handler Denise




Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days




Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days




Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines




Abigail was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days




Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day




Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors




Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days




Searching for survivors: The dogs worked around the clock in the vain hope of finding anyone still alive at the World Trade Center site





(As of this day still no cats on record helping in the search and rescue effort)

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