Thirteen years ago today, two big buildings in New York collapsed to the ground after they were hit by planes flying into them. It was a terrible act of terrorism that shook the world. 

During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3000 died, nearly 100 search and rescue dogs with their brave owners were used in the rescue and recovery operation at Ground Zero.

911 dog2 RTRNHC1_052643The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.

article-2033628-0DB49CBA00000578-884_634x399 e4cad6b55703509f8540b4bdf807e2faIn addition to doing what they were there to do, they also provided comfort for the brave firemen and rescue workers of the emergency services.9-11-search-dogs-2One of the survivors who is blind was led out of the building by his seeing eye dog, Roselle. The yellow lab calmly guided her blind charge 1,463 steps out of the building.  As debris fell and dust billowed, she found a subway station and led them both underground to safety.

e7d8bfacb7f3708c9039cf88c6b5fc83Another who had been working at the scene with a bomb-sniffing dog was pulled from the rubble by a rescue dog.

And 27 hours after the centre collapsed, the last survivor was discovered by a dog and pulled from the rubble.

Thirteen years on, many of these dogs have passed on – for in a dog’s life, 13 years is a very long time.

They are some of the heroes of 9/11 and may we not forget their part in one of the worst disasters of humanity.20beab37b2637769d098c82776e10e01

May’s comment: Roselle, the lab that saved her blind owner was honoured by the American Humane Association – “Every day, across America, dogs protect, comfort, and give their unconditional friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran, and the frightened child,” Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Association, said of the awards.“It was time to recognize the contributions of man’s best friends and celebrate the heroic feats they have performed for us every day.

I’ll second that.

Most of these dogs are no longer with us. Ten years later, photographer Charlotte Dumas photographed some of the search dogs that were deployed at the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Out of nearly 100 dogs, only fifteen remained, living with their handlers across the United States. Her dignified portraits of these remaining dogs were included in her book, “Retrieved” –71D6sV6sLTL




  1. Alison Mullett

    Miss Darcy your entry today made me cry. We will never forget that dreadful day, and I will always remember to add those wonderful dogs who helped so many in my prayers tonight x

  2. Judith Vogel

    Thank you for the remarkable photos taken during that time.
    The expressive faces of the dogs say it all…. The horror and the determination to do their work retrieving duties.
    very moving and haunting.

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