Today is a day for remembering. Eleven years ago we experienced a horrific tragedy when nearly 3,000 people were killed when terrorists hijacked our planes and attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Almost 400 dogs were called to service, to help search and rescue workers. Some of the dogs helped search and rescue workers by trying to find survivors and the remains of the victims. Some of the dogs worked as police dogs, helping to maintain order amid the chaos. Some of the dogs were there simply to provide therapy and comfort, to the devastated workers in New York City and Washington, DC.
These dogs were often overwhelmed, stressed and depressed during their work amid all the devastation. The owners of the search and rescue dogs had to stage mock rescues, to lift the dogs’ spirits as the dogs became upset when they continuously searched without finding anyone alive. The dogs suffered weight loss from the stress. They worked in heavy dust and smoke, scorching their paws in the burning rubble. The police dogs and the SAR dogs were Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Rotties, Spaniels, mixed breeds, one Doberman and a few Dachshunds.
There were also many therapy dogs, there to provide comfort to the workers. The men and women working so bravely under such terrible conditions, would turn to these therapy dogs to share their feelings or simply to stroke the dogs’ fur. It’s been eleven years since 9/11, and many of the dogs who sacrificed so much for us are now gone. So today, when remembering the victims and heroes of 9/11, please take a minute to remember the canine heroes too.
Here are just a few of the links available to read about these dogs: