Honoring Heroic Search and Rescue Dogs of 9/11
This weekend marks the 10-year anniversary of one of America's greatest tragedies. September 11, 2001 is an event that we will never forget and it is important to take time to remember and honor the men and women who lost their lives and heroically stepped in to help others. Alongside the many brave human heroes, we should also remember and honor the quietly heroic Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs who, along with their handlers, risked their lives to help save victims of the World trade Center attacks.
If there was ever a time in history where dogs proved their distinction as Man's Best Friend, it was during this horrible and overwhelming tragedy. The 9/11 attacks brought about the largest deployment of SAR dogs in U.S. history. Over 350 trained SAR dogs and handlers came to the Twin Towers site and the Pentagon to search for survivors and to find bodies. The SAR dogs were mostly Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Collies, along with some Spaniels, Dachshunds, other pure breeds and plenty of talented mutts.
The SAR dogs worked with their handlers up to 16 grueling hours a day, and it became evident that the dogs were nearly as distraught as the human rescuers when there were so few survivors to be found. For the human rescue workers, the lack of survivors made the attacks feel ever more horrific and tragic. For the dogs trained to find survivors, though, it felt like a personal failure.
These amazing dogs, and their handlers - many of whom are voluneers - are brilliant creatures who have come to the aid of so many disaster victims over the years. Beyond the World Trade Center tragedy, SAR dogs have assisted in countless search and rescue efforts following hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and similar disasters.
Yahoo News has featured an amazing collection of incredibly moving and inspirational photos of these Search and Rescue Dogs at work. I Head to the Yahoo News page to see the complete slideshow.
Animal Planet's series Saved commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11 with two compelling stories about New York City families who experienced the trauma firsthand and whose unique bonds with their pets helped them cope with their loss and recover from the pain of that terrible day. Learn more about Saved and tune in this Fall to be inspired.
Source: Petcentric; Photo source: REUTERS/HO/U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres