AKC was honored to support the search and rescue dogs who were an integral part of the 9/11 recovery efforts. #NeverForget
Posted by American Kennel Club on Sunday, September 11, 2016
People around the world were touched by the loyalty and resolve of the Search and Rescue Dogs who worked tirelessly to recover victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of the attacks, the American Kennel Club coordinated efforts to assist the SAR handlers and dogs at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
In a continuing commemoration of the heroism of those SAR teams, the AKC established The American Kennel Club Reunite Corporation Canine Support and Relief Fund, a charitable fund to support professional and volunteer canine search and rescue organizations throughout the United States. The AKC also donated much needed medical equipment and covered all veterinary bills for dogs injured at Ground Zero.
The fund was launched with DOGNY, America’s Tribute to Search and Rescue Dogs, a hugely successful public art initiative. Led by Dennis Sprung, this initiative commissioned artists to paint over 100 life-sized sculptures of a German Shepherd Dog in honor of the incredible work of SAR dogs and their handlers. Each dog created had its own special design.
The idea for DOGNY came after the AKC was able to deliver an X-Ray machine to Ground Zero on 9/11 to help rescue dogs hurt searching through the rubble. “I knew then and there: The American Kennel Club did the right thing,” Sprung said in his 2011 speech to the AKC delegates. “It was really the most emotional moment of my life… [But] in the back of my mind was another thought: We could do more. So the idea for DOGNY actually evolved just two days after 9/11.”
These DOGNY sculptures were then auctioned off, contributing to the $3.5 million raised for search and rescue organizations.
We encourage you to explore these pages to learn more about DOGNY and the dogs and handlers it honors.