“Retrieved” – a Tribute to September 11 Search and Rescue Dogs
Owing to a Dutch photographer, SAR dogs from 9/11 will be remembered
As the world marked the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the brave men and women of the emergency services who responded and lost their lives were also remembered. Among the rescue personnel involved that day, there were more than 100 search and rescue dogs. Now, a decade later, there are only a little over a dozen still alive.
In the aftermath of the attack, their unmatched scenting and detection abilities made the contribution of these dogs invaluable. In the confusion and rubble of both the World Trade Center and Pentagon sites, search and rescue dogs demonstrated their extraordinary abilities as they worked in tandem with their handlers and rescue workers around the clock.
A Dutch photographer, Charlotte Dumas, has created a special tribute to those animals still alive through her book ‘Retrieved‘. The book contains portrait shots of the surviving search and rescue dogs, who now enjoy their retirement with their handlers across the USA.
Dumas traveled across nine US states to capture portraits of the dogs for the book, not only to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but also to create a lasting work of recognition of these brave canines. She was able to track down 15 surviving rescue dogs that have assisted emergency crews searching for survivors.
“I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who, although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved,” said the photographer, “…They speak to us as a different species, and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.”
As these brave heroes grow older seven times faster than humans, and time takes its toll, additional three have passed away since the shoot. Their portraits will remain as testament to the event and their contribution, showing how much each and every one of us, humans or animals, can do in need.
The photographic portraits of dogs, each printed in an edition of seven, will be sold at a silent auction on September 29, 2011, which aims to raise $32,000 for the First Responder Alliance charity in New York.
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