Today as I write this blog, on Sept. 11, 2018, it is the 17 year anniversary of  9-11. Here at NutriSource Pet Foods, we’re commemorating the day on the Raising Your Paws podcast as well as on this blog.  On the podcast you will hear the story of Dan Hughes, co-owner of the detection dog company, Dogs for Defense, who was a former secret service agent for the United States. He had been reporting to work at the World Trade Center on 9-11, 2001,  when the towers collapsed.  His survival and what he experienced during that event, led him to become a dog handler.  Dan shares his story of what happened that day on episode 24.

There were numerous search and rescue dog teams that deployed to New York to help in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Fresh Kills Landfill. During the podcast in segment two, you’ll hear the stories of three of the dogs that worked at ground zero.

Listen to Raising Your Paws, podcast episode 24: Title: Stories from 9-11: The Dogs That Worked at Ground Zero and a Secret Service Agent’s Tale of Survival. 


Below, are the photos of the dogs talked about in the podcast, Bretagne, Riley and Storm.

Photo Credit: Dog Heroes of September, 11th. A Tribute to Americas Search and Rescue Dogs. Author, Nona Kilgore Bauer.


Here is a photo of Bretagne and her handler, Denise Corliss. Bretagne had remarkable skills in knowing which firefighters needed her comforting presence or to cry into her fur.

Photo credit: Dog Heroes of September 11th.


Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres. Photo credit: Dog Heroes of September 11th.

Above is the famous photo of Riley, being transported in a stokes basket over a 60 foot canyon of debris, in order for him and his handler, Chris Selfridge to search what was left of the north tower of the World Trade Center. This was the most practical way to get Riley across the huge void. Then below is Storm, the German Shephard that was never mistaken when indicating that he had found someone.

David Sanabria and Storm.
Photo credit: Dog Heroes of September 11th by Nona Kilgore Bauer.

[one-half-first]At 9:38  in the morning of September 11, a third hijacked airliner struck the Pentagon in Washington, DC, killing 184 people.

In addition to the dogs teams that worked at ground zero, many k-9 teams worked the site at the Pentagon. The dogs found the DNA evidence that identified all of the 184 victims as well as the 5 hijackers.[/one-half-first]
[one-half]In the photo below, you’ll notice you can barely see where Otto, a certified cadaver search dog, is, in the midst of the massive debris pile at the Pentagon.  Dogs were able to move sure-footedly though areas that were nearly impossible for people to navigate.  Sonja Heritage, his handler,  said that Otto, knew the job he was there to perform and worked well off lead with very little input from her. Otto helped bring closure to many of the victim’s families.

Photo credit: Dog Heroes of September 11th.


Below is Dan Hughes, the former secret service agent who survived 9-11 and then became a dog handler working with explosive detection dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dan is also the co-owner of Dogs for Defense, a company that provides working dog services for around the world. 


Resources for this episode. 

The source of the stories and photos is from the book, “Dog Heroes of September, 11th” by Nona Kilgore Bauer. 

The dog on the cover is the golden retriever, Riley. 


Dogs For Defense Website.

Dogs for Defense Facebook Page.

To order, Dog Heroes of September, 11th.