I can’t believe that 14 years has passed since that tragic day. I still tear up when I see video or read stories of all the wonderful people who gave so much to try to save and recover the victims of 9/11. Some of those heroes, 300 to be exact, were dogs.
Unafraid, they worked tirelessly without any protective gear. They went into the rubble looking for survivors, working day and night, sometimes up to 16 hours a day. Some handlers recall spending countless hours only to find remains and the dogs became extremely stressed. They actually staged mock rescues so the dogs could find someone alive and boost their spirits. Besides search and rescue dogs, many therapy dogs came from all over the country to offer emotional support to our firefighters and police who just needed a furry friend to make them smile during such a horrible time. The dogs brought hope and removed the gloom even if only for just a moment.
Dr. Cindy Otto, a veterinarian from Philadelphia, PA, actually travelled to Ground Zero and spent nine days giving care to the dogs to make sure they were hydrated and to tend to their wounds. She also did a study on the dogs to see what effects that time had on them; considering all the dust and debris that they ingested, the study found that they all lived long and healthy lives after that time.
Dogs have such an amazing power to heal us emotionally on our worst days; so many dogs came to aid and assist and we will never forget their dedication and loyalty to the cause.
We will always remember and be thankful for all of the heroes, both human and canine, from 9/11.
Take a moment to watch this video to: