Last remaining 9/11 rescue dog euthanized in Houston
It was a depressing Monday (Tuesday in Manila) for the men and women of the Cy-Fair Fire Department in Houston, Texas, as they bid farewell to the last surviving search-and-rescue dog that worked at Ground Zero, after the dreaded 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
According to The Houston Chronicle, the Golden retriever named Bretagne (pronounced as ”Brittany”) would have turned 17 in August, but her handlers were forced to bring her to the vet’s office to be put down, due to her declining health.
The canine, which has been a beloved fixture at the firehouse, aided the Texas Task Force 1 in retrieving surviving victims in the wake of 9/11’s wreckage.
The heroic mutt reportedly received a well deserved hero’s salute on her last walk into Fairfield Animal Hospital veterinary office in Cypress, Texas.
She was saluted once more by Texas Law enforcement on her way out of the hospital, with her body draped in an American flag.
“This was a very small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who truly has been a hero,” Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan was quoted saying in the report. “Just because she’s a K-9 doesn’t make her any less part of our department than any other member.”
One of her handlers, Denise Corliss, meanwhile, said she knew it was time to let go when Bretagne did not eat for three consecutive days.
“She was really anxious last night and she just wanted to be with me,” Corliss shared with the Chronicle. ”So I laid down with her, right next to her. When she could feel me, she could settle down and go to sleep. I slept with her like that all night.”
After her retirement age at 10, Bretagne reportedly helped other search dogs in training, while also serving as as a reading assistance dog at an elementary school.
In addition to her service at ground zero, Bretagne and Corliss were also deployed to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Rita.
The dog’s remains will be laid to rest in Houston after a necropsy at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Her handlers agreed to donate her body to an institution that has an ongoing study on 9/11 search dogs. Khristian Ibarrola
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