Hero Dogs of 9/11



Iconic photos of Riley being transported alone through the debris onsite have been shared many, many times since 2001. This search and rescue Golden Retriever was formally trained to locate survivors of the attacks, desperately searching the World Trade Center through the nights following as part of FEMA’s Pennsylvania Task Force 1. His image as a beacon of hope at Ground Zero brought motivation and comfort to the firefighters and cops tirelessly working through the tragedy.

Riley provided his owner, Chris Selfridge, and his nation with more than 13 many years of love and support. Riley’s passing this year helped inspire research of the long-term effects this kind of rigorous search and rescue work might have on canine health.


German Shepherd Apollo finished the NYPD Canine Special Operations Division as he was 2 yrs old. He was certainly one of Ny City’s top dogs throughout the 1990s and worked with the first NYPD K-9 Urban Search and Rescue team. Apollo and his handler, Peter Davis, were the first K-9 search and rescue team to reply to the phone call on September 11, coming to the South Tower merely Fifteen minutes after its collapse.

From that moment on, Apollo looked for survivors 18 hours a day for weeks on end. His search and rescue work earned him among the first Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) in 2001 as well as the Dickin Medal, with respect to all Patriot Day search and rescue dogs,

for tireless courage within the service of humanity throughout the search and rescue operations in New York and Washington on after 11 September 2001. Faithful to words of command and undaunted through the task, the dogs' work and unstinting devotion to duty stands as a testament to those lost or injured.


Sage was 2 years old once the search and rescue Border Collie and her handler, Diane Whetsel, worked at the Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks. With the highest-level recognition in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sage was among the nation’s top 50 dogs in the search and rescue field. She and her handler continued their careers in SAR by rescuing animals stranded by Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina before their deployment to Iraq in 2007.

Once retired, Sage became a part of the 9/11 search and rescue dog study done by the University of Pennsylvania, funded by the Canine Health Foundation. She seemed to be honored with the 2009 Search and Rescue Award for Canine Excellence before crossing the Rainbow Bridge this year at the chronilogical age of 13.


Bretagne (Brit-nee) was referred to as last living search and rescue dog to possess worked at Ground Zero. Bretagne and her owner-handler Denise Corliss worked 12-hour shifts on rescue and recovery for 10 days straight following the attacks on September 11. This Golden Retriever’s career training began at just eight weeks old, making her an ongoing veteran of rescue missions including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ivan.

After her retirement in the workforce at 9, Bretagne took her talents to some local elementary school where she helped first-graders like a reading assistance dog on her remaining years. Bretagne crossed the Rainbow Bridge with her owners by her side in the age of 16 in Texas, where she was saluted by representatives in the military and local fire departments.


Trakr would be a German Shepherd who answered the phone call for action that fateful day together with his Canadian police officer and handler, James Symington. The duo is credited with finding the last remaining survivor from the World Trade Center after she'd been trapped for 26 hours. TIME awarded Trakr the sixth spot on their published listing of Top 10 Heroic Animals.

Seven years later, Symington entered Trakr inside a BioArts International contest in which the winner’s DNA would be cloned. Trakr had what it really took being an exceptional canine specimen and was cloned five times before his passing in 2009 in the chronilogical age of 14. The Trakr puppy clones (Trustt, Solace, Valor, Prodigy, and Deja Vu) are continuing Trakr’s legacy and all sorts of started their training as search and rescue dogs in 2011.