Last Known Living 9/11 Rescue Dog Turns 16, Returns To NYC

Today the nation and the world remember the September 11th terrorist attacks on the 14th anniversary. While we honor the memory of the victims and the first responders who selflessly ran toward danger, one hero also being honored is of the four legged variety.

A major part of the response in the aftermath of the attacks was the search and rescue teams looking for survivors in the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center twin towers.  Rescue dogs were a vital part of this operation who were able to sniff for human life. A dog named Bretagne and her owner, Denise Carliss were part of the first wave of responders having been deployed from Texas as part of a national disaster group, Texas Task Force 1. Bretagne will soon turn 16-years-old.

Bretagne and Carliss in September, 2001

Carliss says that during the overwhelming first days of the rescue operation she was grateful to have the eager to help The Golden Retriever by her side.

“I just couldn’t believe the magnitude and then I looked down at her and she seemed stoked and ready to work,” Carliss recalled.

Bretagne at the 9/11 memorial.

Bretagne was two-years-old at the time of the attacks and during the grueling, long days at Ground Zero the dog was of great comfort to firefighters and rescue teams. Carliss and Bretagne went from search and rescue to working on recovery efforts.  

14 years later the hero dog and owner were flown as guests of honor to New York City by the folks at BarkPost. Once back in New York, they were picked up from the airport in a vintage NYC cab which stopped in front of a billboard with their photo declaring to Bretagne “NYC Welcomes You And Your Mom.”

In order to celebrate Bretagne’s 16th birthday and honor her service, the pair were put up in a luxury hotel, 1 Hotel Central Park. Their hotel room featured a room full of toys, a canine birthday cake and the hotel even donated $1000 to the Texas Task Force which will use the money to train more rescue dogs.   Bretagne was even given a Tiffany “Bone to the dog Park” – which is like getting a key to the city for dogs.

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: NY Daily News