Honoring the Dogs of 9/11

The events on the morning of 9/11/2001 bring back vivid memories for those of us who were alive at the time and old enough to understand the unfolding World Trade Center disaster. As we watched the towers burn and fall to the ground, little did we know the heroism that would be required on that day and in the days to follow. The search and rescue mission undertaken by the first responders eclipsed anything they had ever experienced and we watched in painful disbelief as they went to work, saving as many lives as they could and searching the rubble for those who had perished.

Rescue dog sniffing through the rubble.

If there was a bright spot in the midst of all the destruction and heartbreak, it was the amazing contribution of several hundred rescue dogs pressed into action to work alongside the first responders — helping to find those buried under tons of metal and ash, bringing comfort to the injured, and lifting the spirits of exhausted first responders.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has written a fitting tribute to honor the dogs of 9/11, “The Legacy of 9/11 Dogs 19 Years Later.” It tells the heroic story and the positive impact their service had on the future training and use of disaster search dogs.

Until 9/11 . . .

“Most people in this country had never heard of disaster search dogs,” said Debra Tosch, executive director of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. “When the news media started focusing on the dogs at Ground Zero, public knowledge really exploded.”

According to the AKC, “images of these dogs working tirelessly, doing whatever was needed to get the job done captured hearts and minds all over the world. The performance of the dogs on 9/11 also sparked serious study of the effects of this kind of work on canine bodies and animals.”

To read this this amazing story, “The Legacy of 9/11 Dogs 19 Years Later,” by Mara Bovsun, American Kennel Club, 9/8/2020, use this link: http://akc.org/expert-advice/news/the-legacy-of-9-11-dogs-18-years-later/ (Scroll down to “Expert Advice Articles”)

For information about the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, you can go to their website at http://www.searchdogfoundation.org

Editor’s Note: Our thanks and appreciation to the American Kennel Club for the information and photos used in this blog — not only for calling our attention to the work of disaster search dogs, but for a reminder of the great teamwork and dedicated service provided by our first responders. You can check out their website at http://www.akc.org