On the morning of September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and plane that was taken over in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We have all heard about the heroic acts of the police department and firefighters however, many are unaware that highly skilled search and rescue dogs played a major role in rescue operations. These dogs risked their lives and brought closure to thousands of families whose loved ones perished in the attack. There were two organizations that deployed these specially trained dogs to the World Trade Center, Pentagon, The Fresh Kills Landfill (where the debris from the WTC was taken to be gone through by cadaver canines) and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to help in the search and rescue efforts. Also deployed were hundreds of therapy dogs to bring comfort to the search and rescue personal and for grieving family members.
The first organization that deployed search and rescue canine teams to the World Trade Center, Pentagon, The Fresh Kills Landfill and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is a certification earned through extensive training that is unique to disaster response. Canine and handlers that meet these qualifications are capable of being deployed anywhere in the nation even on foreign soil and can perform at the highest level of accuracy. There are two levels of certification FEMA offers, the first is Type II basic that requires the canine and handler to perform specific standards with the direct supervision and guidance of the handler. “FEMA Type II basic level requires an elements test in five different skills: bark alert, direction control, obedience, obstacle course an...
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...d it is what they live for.
Bauer, N. K. (2011). Dog heroes of September 11th: A tribute to America’s search and rescue dog. Freehold, NJ: Kennel Club Books.
Fiala, J. (2006). Rescue dogs breathe easy after 9/11: nearly 70 percent of recovery workers suffer lung problems while rescue dogs remain unscathed, researchers report.(news). DVM Newsmagazine, (10). 8.
Goldish, M. (2013). Ground Zero Dogs. New York, N.Y: Bearport Pub.
Otto, C., Downend, A., Moore, G., Daggy, J., Ranivand, D., Reetz, J., & Fitzgerald, S. (2010). Advancement of the science. Medical surveillance of search dogs deployed to the World Trade Center and Pentagon: 2001-2006. Journal of Environmental Health, 73(2), 12-21.
Whitcomb, R. (2011). A decade later, 9/11 search dogs still admired, studied for lasting effects. (A dvm Newsmagazine SPECIAL REPORT). DVM Newsmagazine, (4). 14.
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