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Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Veterinarian's Perspective On Our Canine 9/11 Heroes

  Denise Corliss and Bretagne, a Golden Retriever, both helped at Ground Zero. Beautiful Bretagne is still alive today and is a finalist for the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards!

Kudos to DogTime Media for this pitch-perfect piece on the canine heroes of 9/11, and the veterinarian, Dr. Cindy Otto, who tended to the Ground Zero working dogs for 10 days following the attacks.  We all owe a huge debt to the countless humans and approximately 900 trained service dogs who gave their time and risked their lives to help so many in need on that horrific day, and for the months and years afterward.

What we didn't know were the results of studies conducted on both the humans and animals who served  at Ground Zero. Although the reasons are not clear, there are differences in the way the human body reacted to the onsite debris and dust and the way a canine"s body reacted. Although the human workers at Ground Zero had higher incidents of cancer rates in the following years, the dogs did not, at least according to one study directed by Dr. Otto and  funded by the AKC's Canine Health Foundation.

Dr. Otto also founded Penn Vet Working Dog Center in 2007 to " Enhance research and training" for all working dogs, with thej ultimate goal to make their lives better. A hearty thank you to Dr. Otto for not only her work at Ground Zero, but for following through on her passion for all working dogs.

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