Exhausted, stressed and war-weary dogs receive the best care, both physical and mental, that humans can give.
“Worf” located the bodies of two missing firefighters on the first day. Overwhelmed, he lay down and curled up on the spot. The dog began shedding profusely, quit eating and refused to play with other dogs. His partner Mike Owens made the decision to retire the 12-year-old German Shepherd from search-and-rescue duty permanently. They are now back at home in Monroe, Ohio, where the entire town takes turns petting and playing with Worf.
Lynne Engelbert & “Lucy”, age 10½
California Task Force 4 (Oakland, CA).
“We worked 12-15 hrs., went through decon and back to the Javits where she was greeted by the VMAT folks (they were awesome!), bathed in warm water, given her nose-to-tail vet check, fed, walked and then I would go take care of me. Usually when I returned from the shower, she would be out playing tug with the firefighters. Endless energy! Lucy was able to locate numerous remains and help to bring closure for several families … There are no credits on the rooftop shot. I just handed my camera to a nearby firefighter and asked him to take some shots. The rubble site shot was on the Marriott hotel site where Lucy located the remains of a firefighter. This photo was taken by Tom Clark, Structural Specialist with CA TF4 … Thank you for your efforts to recognize these wonderful animals.” — Lynne Engelbert.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (USA) — As a rule, emergency rescuers don’t hesitate to consider their own hides. Sadly, there were 341 brave firefighters who died by that credo in the Sept. 11 horror last year. And, not to be overlooked, just as many dogs were just as eager to rush toward an uncertain fate for the sake of duty.
Only one dog died in the World Trade Center1, but the risks taken by each of the estimated 350 search-and-rescue (SAR) pooches were immense, nonetheless. They walked on shattered glass, stuck their noses into concrete dust and crawled on their bellies through cavities that even rats were too afraid to explore. So what exactly is the price for such devotion?
Skin cancer, prostatitis, nerve damage and arthritis are a few of the ailments that are dogging “Bear”, a 12-year-old Golden Retriever who sniffed through the rubble for three months. But we’ll get to Bear’s story in a minute. First, let’s hear the facts agreed upon by most veterinarians and handlers.
“The University of Penn is doing a study of the teams that worked the WTC and Pentagon,” says Lynne Engelbert, a rescuer with California Task Force 4, “So we will find out in about 3 years if there are any ill effects.
“Lucy (left) didn’t have any issues at all. And she was 10½ years old at the time. She worked the rubble like a puppy … I know more of the teams that worked either the WTC or the Pentagon and know of nothing so far in any of them.”
Indeed, if there’s one indisputable point, it’s that the ASPCA, Suffolk County SPCA, VMAT and “doggy M*A*S*H” units took good care of our four-legged helpers (and we can’t overlook the TLC from a few volunteer dog-chiropractors on site who offered some professional back-rubs). But even with such expert care, our canine first-aid teams were not infallible.
For one, there’s no accounting for the psychological trauma that possibly could have affected some of the dogs. Fortunately, though, most dogs who have been trained in disaster recovery were well prepared for the “smell of death”.
As Ms. Engelbert explains: “This is what Lucy and I train to do. Although the site was massive and the devastation total, we were ready to go to work and did so as soon as we could. …finding the dead isn’t new to us. Although we would much prefer to find the living, helping to bring closure for the families of the victims was also gratifying. Knowing the families had ‘something’ definitive and could go on with their lives brings a sense of accomplishment.
“Neither one of us have had any emotional issues as a result of this deployment.”
full article here;:http://dogsinthenews.com/issues/0207/articles/020723a.htm
Ricky the Smallest Rescue Dog at the World Trade Center
“Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart.”
— Dorothy Hinshaw Patent,
Dogs: The Wolf Within
SEATTLE, WA (USA) — We’ve all heard about the German Shepherds, the Rottweilers, Labs and Bloodhounds who combed the fallen World Trade Center in search of victims last month, but what about the lap dogs? They’re no exception to the courageous canine list.
Last week, the Seattle City Council held a ceremony to honor a few of the brave souls who helped with New York City search-and-rescue (SAR) efforts: 62 firefighters, police, doctors, engineers and public-safety personnel, all working with Puget Sound Urban Search and Rescue. Also invited to the podium were four SAR dogs, including one so small that many people in the audience had to squint to get a good look at him—that would be “Ricky” the Rat Terrier.
Ricky, measuring in at 17″ and 280 ounces, didn’t let his diminutive size deter him from his duties at “the pile”. In fact, he worked his tininess to his advantage, squeezing into holes that other dogs and robots were too large to navigate. Ricky and his trainer, Janet Linker of the Seattle Fire Department, searched the ruins for 10 days, helping to find the bodies of several victims, according to The Seattle Times.
At two years old, Ricky can climb aluminum ladders, run complex patterns on command and differentiate between the living and the dead. On June 17, 2000, Ricky attained the official certification at Basic Level after proving that he can search through piles of concrete at a site the size of half a baseball field, finding three victims in less than 10 minutes, unfazed by bulldozers, jackhammers, cats in cages and dirty laundry set up as distractions. Even so, the carnage at the World Trade Center site pushed Ricky’s abilities beyond anything he’d ever experienced.
“There were a few situations where we had to climb underneath metal beams, and the space just kept getting smaller and smaller,” says Ms. Linker, who works for Northwest Disaster Search Dogs.
She and Ricky worked closely with another SAR pair, Kent Olson (forensic therapist at Western State Hospital) and a 5-year-old Golden Retriever named “Thunder”, working the two dogs’ abilities in tandem. Ricky would wriggle into tight spots that 64-lb. Thunder could not manage, and Thunder, a more experienced dog (certified Advanced Level) would verify Ricky’s finds.
When Ricky found a body, he would signal by standing very still and looking at his handler intently with all the fur on his body standing up; Thunder would confirm the find by lying down as his signal to his partner. Rescuers would then know exactly where to dig.
Both dogs’ indication of a “live find” was to have been a bark, but unfortunately they never had the chance to make that signal.
“It’s really hard to know exactly how many people Ricky helped find,” says Ms. Linker. “I saw them take a policeman and a firefighter out from areas that we had just searched. I don’t know how many people were in the stairwell. There were lots of people in there. They were gone, not alive.”
full article here
Coby and Guinness two labrador retrievers — searched tirelessly through the rubble of the World Trade Center 10 years ago before returning home to Southern California and, eventually, retirement at their handlers’ Highland home.
Coby was 6 when he was deployed to the WTC site with Redlands Battalion Chief David Graves.
Both of these dogs worked for an even larger and more crowded area than they were trained for, they searched for 11 days in 12 hour shifts. There reward was a nap or a chew toy
Over the years Cody lost his hearing but continued working with hand signals. Guiness had been trained for wilderness search and recovery before joining Riverside Task Force 6.
The massive pile of wreckage was so dangerous multiple times it was cleared of searchers because of fear of more collapse.
Coby has sinced passed on but not before finding 18 to 20 people in this human holocaust at Ground Zero. One can only imagine there is a reserved spot in heaven for such heroism.
WOBURN (CBS) – Only a handful search and rescue dogs deployed to Ground Zero are still alive, ten years after 9/11.
One of them is Moxie, a 13-year-old chocolate lab in retirement in Winthrop.
Her owner Mark Aliberti says she’s losing her hearing and her vision isn’t great, but it was her strong sense of smell that got her working on 9/11.
“These dogs are air scent dogs, which means they go out and sniff the air and they work their way in to the scent,” Aliberti told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz. “I’d tell her to go find and she’d search and search and search. If she found somebody or found scent that she’s interested in, she’s trained to penetrate as much as she can, get as close as she can. When she can’t get any closer, she’s trained to start barking and continually bark and just stay there until I join her.”
Morgan a German Shepherd with her K9 Partner Molly a Yellow Labrador were some of the first cadaver dogs on the scene at Ground Zero on September the 11th. Cadaver dogs are given a extremely difficult job that no human or otherwise would want to do freely. It is in many ways a job without reward, in that there is no happy ending as they are finding a lifeless body or remains. These dogs are believed to be at times traumatized by the aspect of finding these bodies. It is upsetting to them to find the deceased person. The cadaver dog fully understands that these humans have ceased living, these dogs are not immune to the emotions of fear, sorrow and avoidance that we humans can feel surrounding death.
Morgan fell and was injured during the initial search but returned to duty as soon as she had seen a veterinarian. One can only imagine the massive amounts of hazardous chemicals, dust and contaminants and sharp objects these dogs had to endure.
Morgan was effected not only physically by the debris and toxic dust in the air at Ground Zero, but emotionally she needed to retire, so she did rest up until duty called her again, with another extremely tragic event in our nations history. When Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana there was another massive emergency call for help. Morgan courageously traveled to work and find those who had gone missing and ceased to be. It is probably just as important to find these deceased bodies as it is to find living bodies. Buddhism teaches that there is powerful Karma attached to caring for deceased bodies and helping the family and their spirit understand what has happened. Morgan and Molly’s job was thankless in many ways and it is something that most humans attach great fear and avoidance to death or any reminder of it such as bodies and remains. It is quite possible that Morgan has attained this highest Karma in helping scores of grieving family members.
If my life was to cease to be I could think of no greater spirit to see than a dog guiding me to the light, I can’t think of any being more trustworthy in life than the dog, so the same qualities of our dogs exist in death. I would imagine Morgan and Molly both and dogs like them are in many as guide dog for the souls who have fallen somewhere estranged from their families, giving not only closure to the family closure but a restful understanding to the soul of the departed.
I want to launch this attempt at honoring heroic dogs on this day. Ten years after the attacks on the United States I can think of no better moment to start writing on these companions dogs, working dogs, street dogs and nameless strays who have saved others without hesitation for their own life in danger. I hope to honor what will be remembered as infamous in the history of the world, as well as a day of marked, bravery , courage and heroism. We saw the worst aspects of humankind and the best aspects of humans and yes dogs working together to rescue, recover and heal the wounds drawn by the terrorist attack in New York, on Flight 96 and the Pentagon.
I will dedicate most of this months posts to the 9/11 search and rescue dogs.
For this first entry, I would like to honor Sirius the only dog to perish in the attack on the World Trade center. Sirius was a Yellow Labrador assigned to bomb detection at the World Trade Center his handler and companion was officer David Lim. The officer had left Sirius in his kennel to go to the emergency situation on the first tower hit. At the time he was not sure what had happened thinking it was a bomb however he thought the safest place for Sirius would be in the basement of Tower Two where his kennel was and freed the officer to attend to rescue in Tower One. Consequently David Lim was buried in the rubble and found 5 hours later. Thr bond between Officer David Lim and Sirius was very true; “We were very close; no matter where I went, he went. Whatever I asked him to do, he did. He never complained. Sometimes we’d be working for long hours, searching hundreds of cars or trucks, and he’d just look at me like, ‘What do you want me to do now?’ “.Sirius body was not found until January 22nd 2002. Officer David Lim rushed to be there for his fallen partner. All machines were silenced as Officer Lim carried his companion draped in the Flag of the United States and Sirius was given full police honors, His promise to his companion, fellow officer was fulfilled.