On Sept. 11, 2001, search and rescue dogs were deployed to NYC and Washington DC to locate victims trapped in the rubble at the terrorist attack sites. These search and rescue dogs did not have the benefit of wearing personal protective equipment worn by human handlers. The dogs were directly exposed to numerous airborne and surface toxins during their search for survivors.
These dogs were exposed to toxic and carcinogenic dust and ash as they used their noses and eyes to tirelessly search for survivors. The air during this time was heavy with fine matter like cement, glass, fiberglass, asbestos, lead and the combustion of jet fuel resulted in many other toxins dispersed in the air and ground.
These dogs worked a total of 1,428 days (15,148 hours) and many had health issues during the first week. Many experienced fatigue, eye irritation, and respiratory tract problems. They did the work where our noses and eyes could not go.
In addition to those we have lost to this horrific tragedy, let us remember also these dogs for their efforts during this tragic time. Express gratitude for our four-legged heroes.