That day, over 350 highly trained canines (and their handlers) arrived at the sites affected by the terrorist attacks, with one goal - search and rescue.
A handful of rescues were made in the first 26 hours when teams helped to locate four injured people (not including the 14 rescued firefighters). But after Wednesday no more survivors were found. Handlers say that these dogs, who are trained to find survivors, felt as if it was their fault for not being able to find anyone alive.
But the canines and their handlers searched on. These wonderful dogs searched until their pads were burned and bleeding, they were exhausted, and very tired, with some becoming ill, and five losing their life. But still the teams pressed on in the hopes that someone would be found alive. But it was not to be...
As we reflect on this day when many lives and loves were lost, many heroes were made, much strength and determination was shown, families were torn apart, and devastation was faced, along with much grief and sadness; I want to remember my fellow canines and their handlers who worked tirelessly those days, and to remember those K9's who gave their lives.
Words cannot express my respect for these wonderful working dogs and their handlers. I salute you, I respect you and I admire you. The work you do is remarkable. Thank you!
Please take the time to visit this site and pay your respects to these incredible dogs and their handlers. They are real heroes. And for more information about SAR and SAR dogs, click here.