Itmarks a sad occasionfor dog-lovers everywhere. Bretagne, the last surviving rescue dog from 9/11, was put down in a suburb of Houston, Texas, on Monday of this week.
The golden retriever was just two years old when she started at work with her handler, Denise Corliss, as part of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department's K9 Search & Rescue Team following the events of September 2001.Along with about 100other dogs who came to New York City, Bretagne worked every day for 12 to 16 hours, searching among the rubble of Ground Zero for survivors as well as offering crucial emotional comfort to other victims.
Since 9/11, Bretagne continued to serve her country on rescue missions after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.She finally retired from service in 2010, at the age of nine. After this, the dog continued to bring joy tosociety, volunteering at local primary schools where she listened to special needs students who read aloud to her.
Bretagne returned to Ground Zero on the 14th anniversary of 9/11 last year, when she was the last surviving rescue dog.
As her health started to dwindle, Corliss decided that it would be kinder to euthanise Bretagne. When she went into the veterinary office on Monday, she was saluted by representatives of Texas Task Force 1 and the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.
Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan told TODAY:
This was a very small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who has truly been a hero... Just because she's a K9 doesn't make her any less part of our department than any other member.
Bretagne may now be gone but her legacy will certainly not be forgotten. Along with all the other service dogs, she brought so much to the rescue efforts of the team over the years. Here you can see her much-deserved goodbye:
You can donate to Texas Task Force 1 K-9 in the memory of Bretagne here.