'Hero Dogs of 9/11' Honors Dedicated Canines

'Hero Dogs of 9/11' Television Special on Animal Planet
Animal Planet

Lots of difficult memories come flooding back with each anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — and stories of the amazing dogs who helped are always an inspiration. This year, Animal Planet will air a new documentary on the canines who didn’t hesitate when they were called on to help with search and rescue, sniff for explosives, or comfort the first responders or victims’ families.

Hero Dogs of 9/11, an hour-long special by Dog Files founder Kenn Bell, premieres on tonight at 8 p.m ET on Animal Planet, the day before the 12th anniversary of the coordinated attacks that killed close to 3,000 people. The film chronicles the four-legged heroes’ lives and actions.

More than 300 dogs took part in the rescue and recovery mission at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bell’s special focuses on the stories of three survivors at Ground Zero — and how they were helped by dogs.

“The firemen and the police officers were completely stone-faced,” says one of the interviewees in the special. “When they’d see one of the dogs, their eyes [would] light up a little bit.”

One of the survivors who’s profiled in the documentary is blind, and was led out of the World Trade Center to safety by his guide dog. The second was pulled from the rubble by a rescue dog while he was working at the scene with his bomb sniffing dog. And the third was the last survivor to be discovered in the wreckage, after being located by a dog, more than 24 hours after the towers collapsed.

We’ll be watching, with our tissues in hand and our own best friends.


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