Last surviving 9/11 search dog saluted in hero's send-off in Texas

Bretagne, 16, was among the dogs searching the ruins of the World Trade Center

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 07 June 2016 12:12
Last surviving 9/11 search dog saluted in hero's send-off in Texas

The last known surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog has been given a hero’s send-off at a veterinary clinic in Texas.

Bretagne, 16, was one of those used at the World Trade Center following the attacks on 11 September 2001 and went on to respond to disasters including Hurricane Katrina.

Her owner and handler, Denise Corliss, and her family made the decision to have her put down on Monday after she suffered kidney failure.

Denise Corliss and her search dog Bretagne in Houston, Texas, in 2002

More than 20 first responders in dress uniform lined the pavement and saluted Bretagne as she was led into the vet’s office in Houston.

An American flag was later draped over her body as she was carried out of the facility, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Bretagne and Ms Corliss met the former President George HW Bush at his presidential library last year and she was also nominated for a Hero Dog Award from the American Humane Association in 2014.

A dedication described the dog as “fiercely devoted” to her handler and said that after being retired from search and rescue duty aged 10 she was taken to schools to help children to read.

Denise Corliss, the handler for Bretagne, at the Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Texas, on 6 June 2016 (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP) )

The Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department said she also helped train other search dogs and visited child with special needs, including autism.

“Some may say that the most a dog could be is a pet, however, to the over 400 members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Bretagne was a civil servant, a hero and is family,” a spokesperson said.

“We will remember her fondly and continue serving the community with her as inspiration.”

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