Today we’ll remember. We’ll pay our respects. We’ll honor the rescuers. In this special edition of Woof Report, we salute all who served their country on 9/11, including 27 brave Search and Rescue Dogs.

On September 11, 2001, Dr. Cynthia Otto deployed to Ground Zero to care for the highly trained team of Search and Rescue Dogs. A veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a member of Pennsylvania Task Force 1, she supported the dogs as they braved lacerations, dehydration and fatigue on world’s most toxic pile of rubble. Choking on dust for over 15,000 hours in a hurried search for survivors, her heroic patients survived one of the most tragic events in our history.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Dr. Otto took the time to monitor the health and behavior of these courageous dogs. She received a grant from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for a three-year study of their long-term health and progress. The results are in and the study is still ongoing to determine any longer-term effects.

Despite the acute injuries and environmental toxin exposure, none of 9/11 Search and Rescue Dogs experienced chronic respiratory diseases or health problems related to their service at Ground Zero. In fact, all the dogs survived the mission, with just six passing of natural causes since.

On a day when good news seems out of reach, we once again have our canine friends to thank. For their bravery, their selflessness, and their service, we’re proud to honor the Search and Rescue Dogs of 9/11.


The Scoop:

Details and a Memorial to the Dogs of 9/11

More information about Search and Rescue Dogs (SAR Dogs)


“Dylan” Bobrosky, pictured above, was deployed to the World Trade Center and passed away in January 2005 at age 11.