We’ve all seen the pictures of the heroes of 9/11, those selfless first responders who put their lives at risk on that terrible day in 2001 to try to find and rescue any survivors after Muslim terrorists flew airplanes into the Twin Towers in New York City.
What many do not realize, however, is that some of these heroes were not human at all. They were canines, search and rescue dogs who worked 12 hour days for two weeks alongside the first responders to find survivors. On Monday, the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 was laid to rest after passing away from old age.
Bretagne (pronounced Brittany) was a Golden Retriever who not only worked searching for survivors of 9/11, she also helped soothe and comfort those humans around her during that horrific time who were searching through the carnage as they dealt with the reality of it all. They found comfort in the unconditional love that dogs give as they petted her.
When Bretagne and her owner/handler, Denise Corliss, were sent to the scene at 9/11, they had just graduated from disaster training. Searching for survivors after 9/11 was not her only daunting task. She was also deployed to work in other disasters across the country, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Bretagne retired from her role as a search and rescue dog at the age of 9. After her retirement, she visited schools once a week and helped children learn to read. She sat attentively and listened to them as they read her stories.
She was given a heroes farewell for the selfless life that was dedicated to finding others after devastating events.
Bretagne the Golden Retriever has been laid to rest after receiving a hero’s farewell. The dog, believed to be the last surviving 9/11 Ground Zero search dog, was put to sleep on June 6, 2016 due to old age.
The 16-year-old dog was honored by firefighters and rescue workers who lined the sidewalk and saluted her as she walked into the Farfield Animal Hospital in Houston, Texas in her final hour.
Upon exiting the hospital, her casket was draped in an American flag to be laid to rest.
Bretagne has crossed over that Rainbow Bridge, but her life will not be forgotten. Rest in peace, sweet girl. Thank you for your service.
WATCH Bretagne, the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11, as she enters the veterinarian’s office for the last time. She would have been 17 in August.