Second edition launch of Dog Heroes of September 11th by Nona Kilgore Bauer, Kennel Club Books

September 10, 2011

Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs
by Nona Kilgore Bauer, Kennel Club Books

A beautifully illustrated commemorative edition that profiles the emotional stories of 77 canine heroes and their handlers after the 9/11 disaster. A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit SDF in their mission to train search and rescue dogs.

The following quotes come from SARs who served at Ground Zero, as published in Dog Heroes of September 11th

“When we first arrived it was like walking into Hell. People were running in all different directions. There were dozens of firefighters and they were all pleading, ‘Bring your search dog over here.’”

“I said to Piper, ‘Go Find.’ He would paw or whine and then look up at me. And as soon as he put his nose to the ground, the firefighters were all over him. They were so crazed to find one of their brothers buried where Piper had indicated. That’s when I started feeling the deep depression they were feeling. There were about 10 or 12 dogs on our search team. In all, Piper and his buddies found 15 bodies.”

“One firefighter came up to me, with hollow eyes and sunken cheeks and desperation on his face. He asked if he could pet my dog. Then he leaned down and gave Piper a big hug and whispered something in his ear. Piper looked at him and wagged his tail. When the firefighter left, he had just a tiny smile on his face.”
– Sonny Whynman and Piper, New Jersey Task Force 1 (page 89)
“These canine handler volunteers incur tremendous expense to train and maintain these dogs during their career. They have to purchase their own kennels, training and communication equipment, hearing and vision protection, disaster gear and special boots and vests, plus the cost of travel and lodging to attend training seminars to maintain the certification status of their dogs. When their dogs retire, they have the added expense of pain medications, joint supplements and extra veterinary care.”
– Sam Balsam and Jake, Maryland Task Force 1 (page 139)

“Locating human remains is a gruesome task that can deeply affect the emotions of the search dog. Stryker was always focused and effective whenever he was working, but by the end of our 11-day deployment he lost his normal playful attitude. Yet his courage and determination allowed him to press on. He helped his country in a time of need by doing his job locating victims’ remains, and that allowed those families to have closure.”
– Alice Hanan and Stryker, Maryland National Capital Park Police (page 160)

“There were huge piles of debris covered in a blanket of ash. Seventy-five to one hundred men in white suits and respirators were raking over the piles and throwing stuff in all directions as they separated the debris. Backhoes and large dump trucks were going in every direction and rows of 18-wheelers were lined-up, ready to be unloaded. It looked like a nuclear explosion and a scene out of the X-files. A large American Flag waved over the entire site.”

“Our job was done, but our mission wasn’t, and it was hard to walk away. Our hearts were with the people waiting to be found. This is why I train my dog, so he can send people home.”
– Michele Verral and Louie, Southeastern Pennsylvania Specialty Dog Unit (page 186 and 187)

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