While many lives were lost during 9/11, there were also tons of people and rescue dogs out doing all they could to save those who were still alive amongst the rubble. These rescue dogs might not be that big of a deal to everyone but to those who were waiting for help under what was left of the twin towers these dogs were true lifesavers.

As the anniversary of this devastating moment in US history passes we should all take a moment to remember not just the people but also the dogs who were doing their best during this whole ordeal. These dogs are true heroes and their stories deserve to be heard. Whether you’re a serious dog lover or not, their presence during this attack was extremely important and lives would not have been saved without them.

Dogs like Bretagne, Riley, Apollo, Trakr and the rest of the 300 that were present did all they could and worked harder than most could imagine to save the people struggling to get out of this rubble. These canines risked their lives and Apollo, a german shepherd who happened to be the first on the scene almost died from falling flames. Some of these dogs literally became depressed after what they experienced on 9/11 and for every dog there emotions were high.

Within hours of the attacks, these dogs were on the job and searching for survivors. Each was specially trained to rescue, provide comfort, and help in any way they could. For those who do not know search and rescue dogs are crucial when it comes to getting to people who are in places we would struggle to find. When it comes to disaster response they are a resource we cannot go without.

9/11 Memorial & Museum wrote as follows on their website in regards to the work these dogs did:

The last living person rescued from Ground Zero 27 hours after the collapse was found by one of these search and rescue dogs. As the days went on, rescue and recovery workers soon realized the chance of finding survivors was slim, with rescue operations turning to a recovery mission and cadaver dogs, trained to find human remains, also on the scene.

Working alongside their handlers, the four-legged heroes worked tirelessly climbing huge piles of debris while fires still smoldered. The search for signs of life or human remains was mentally and physically taxing on the dogs, as the search dogs began to get discouraged and lose their drive to search. Aware of the importance of morale in these dogs and to keep their motivation high, their handlers would stage a “mock find” so the dog could feel successful.

Veterinarians were stationed at the site to help care for these dogs. Working 12-hour shifts on the pile, the dogs needed to have their paw pads, eyes and nose cleaned often. Cynthia Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and Lisa Murphy, an associate professor of toxicology and director of the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center were both on the ground supporting these dogs.

While these are just a few of the many dogs who worked to save the lives of those affected by 9/11 each and everyone deserves a moment of their own. Please take the time to check out the video below and learn more about them all. Dogs truly are some of the most amazing creatures on this planet.

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