When the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, nearly 10,000 emergency rescue workers joined in the efforts to help. More than 300 of those heroes were dogs.
Working alongside their handlers, the four-legged heroes worked tirelessly climbing huge piles of debris while fires still smoldered. The search for signs of life or human remains was mentally and physically taxing on the dogs, as the search dogs began to get discouraged and lose their drive to search. Aware of the importance of morale in these dogs and to keep their motivation high, their handlers would stage a “mock find” so the dog could feel successful. Veterinarians were stationed at the site to help care for these dogs. Working 12-hour shifts on the pile, the dogs needed to have their paw pads, eyes and nose cleaned often.