Bretagne, the last surviving 9/11 search dog, was honored in her hometown of Cypress, Texas with a special ceremony on the 16th anniversary of the tragic attacks, TODAY reports.
At the ceremony, a life-size bronze statue of Bretagne was unveiled. The statue sits at the entrance of the Fairfield subdivision where Bretagne lived with her owner and handler Denise Corliss.
“It is literally at the entrance of our neighborhood!” Corliss told TODAY. “Every time I enter and leave the neighborhood, I will pass her. It’s certainly very emotional.”
Bretagne and Corliss's deployment to Ground Zero was their first together. The pair also responded to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ivan, and others. Later in life, Bretagne worked as a reading assistance dog at a local elementary school. Bretagne passed away on June 6, 2016.
Now, Corliss continues her search and rescue work with her dog, Taser. Taser and Corliss just returned from a two week deployment in areas greatly affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The Fort Bend County Fire Marshal's Office, where Denise's husband Randy works, shared pictures of the ceremony. In their touching Facebook post, they wrote, “Bretagne’s years of service and love for others remind all of us how to live our best possible lives. Although she is no longer with us, her spirit lives on through those who serve.”
The AKC posthumously honored Bretagne with the 2017 Empire State Award for Canine Excellence in March.