The K9's of 9/11

They searched day and night for survivors. They were focused and fearless in their mission. They worked obediently, searching tirelessly, risking injury and offering comfort. They are and will always remain, the HERO DOGS OF 9/11. Premiering Sunday, September 11 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, Animal Planet presents a one-hour documentary special that reveals the true stories of three survivors and the legacies of working dogs who saved these lives at Ground Zero during the September 11, 2001 crisis and aftermath. The Canadian-made special pays tribute to the 300-plus dogs that were part of the rescue and recovery operation. HERO DOGS OF 9/11 also features the heroic recovery story of the last remaining survivor who was found by dogs and pulled out of the rubble 27 hours after the WTC buildings collapsed on that fateful autumn day.

In documentary style, using a seamless blend of first-person accounts and narration, on-location shooting, stylized archival photos and videos, HERO DOGS OF 9/11 reveals the real-life drama that the rescue workers, animal medics, working dogs and their handlers went through in the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. Now, in the first-ever special about the HERO DOGS OF 9/11, go behind-the-scenes of the infamous tragedy that changed the world forever with some of the unheralded four-legged heroes of the day. The rescue dogs on the scene at the World Trade Center went where it was impossible for humans to go - an occasional dog collapsed from exhaustion, but none of them gave up. They stood by the sides of countless desperate people and they offered solace to those in anguish. Today, ten years later, most of these hero pups are retired, or deceased, but they leave a legacy and a story that must be told.

HERO DOGS OF 9/11 reveals how the hard work of worker dogs and their canine handlers proved invaluable to the search and rescue mission of the survivors at Ground Zero. In addition, the documentary will investigate whether what, if any medical, tactical and veterinary advancements were discovered after researching how these hero dogs worked and survived the adverse conditions in New York City on that infamous September day.


Moxie, age 13, Winthrop, Mass. She arrived at the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11 and began working the next morning. Though she is trained to find survivors, she identified six bodies and many body parts during the eight days she worked there. Since her owner retired her at age 7, she has hunted and spent time on the waterfront.


Orion, age 13, Vacaville, Calif. He worked at the World Trade Center for five days after the attacks and later participated in searches for missing hikers in the High Sierras, at elevations of as much as 12,000 feet. Orion’s owner says that the dog ‘‘loved the work. His purpose in living was doing search and rescue work.’’


Guinness, age 14, Highland, Calif. He worked at the World Trade Center site for 10 days. In the wake of Katrina and other catastrophic hurricanes, he searched for survivors in areas where the water receded. Guinness’s owner says, ‘‘We keep the training fun for the dogs; it’s like a game for them.’’


Red, age 11, Annapolis, Md. Trained as a ‘‘live find’’ dog as well as a ‘‘cadaver’’ dog. Red was driven by her owner to the Pentagon after the attacks, and she worked for 11 days, finding remains for DNA identification in the north parking-lot area. She retired in July. Her owner says, ‘‘Red wants to work, but her body just can’t do it anymore.’’


Bailey, age 14, Thompson Station, Tenn. She went to the Pentagon following the attacks of 9/11. Later in her career, she was active in wilderness searches in her home state. Her owner says: ‘‘Even today, if I say we’re going to search, she’ll get all excited. She still perks up.’’


Tara, age 16, Ipswich, Mass. She arrived at the World Trade Center site at about 1 a.m. the day after the attacks. At that time, her owner says, ‘‘there was a lot of hope that people would be found alive.’’ Over her nine-year career, she located the victim of a crane collapse and participated in wilderness searches. She died earlier this year.


Bretagne, age 12, Cypress, Tex. She worked at ground zero for 10 days; it was her first deployment. Subsequently, her seven years of active duty included searching for survivors in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

RiCK Tuesday 18 October 2011 - 10:46 am | | Kearsarge Marines

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