posted June 15, 2006 10:30 PM
Statue eyed for
9/11 hero canine
By JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
Sirius, killed on 9/11, and Port Authority Police Officer David Lim when they met President Clinton.
The only police dog killed in the World Trade Center attacks could be honored with a statue on Coney Island, the Daily News has learned.
Sirius, the bomb-sniffing dog who was buried under the South Tower, could be immortalized near the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance 9/11 memorial if $240,000 is raised, organizers said.
It would be the first memorial to honor the heroic pooch.
"I'm very grateful because in a lot of different venues the dog isn't as important as the people - but he is important to me," said Port Authority Police Sgt. David Lim, Sirius' owner at the time of the attacks.
Designed by artist Peter Kasten, the statue would stand at Keyspan Park, near the tribute wall that already honors 137 firefighters, 11 police officers and seven Port Authority cops.
The life-size bronze statue depicts a Port Authority officer with his arm around the golden Labrador Retriever. It would accompany statues of two firemen and an ESU police officer.
About $50,000 has already been raised, but Brooklyn Memorial Wall founder Sol Moglen said the cost of the statue and 259 additional plaques could run to $240,000.
"It's surprising when you speak to people and they don't even know a dog was killed, or that two FBI agents and one Secret Service man was killed," said Moglen, whose goal for the Memorial Wall to include Sirius and all 414 of the first responders who lost their lives that day by December.
The last Lim saw of Sirius, his partner since 2000, was in the Port Authority office below the South Tower.
The team spent the morning inspecting trucks near Barclay St., but when the 21-year Port Authority veteran heard rumbling, he left Sirius at the site to go help others at the North Tower.
Both Lim and the dog were buried in rubble when the towers collapsed, but only the Long Island father of two walked away - five hours later.
"A lot of people who've heard my story say that they didn't know anyone personally who died on 9/11," said Lim, 49, who was a Port Authority police officer at the time but has since been promoted to sergeant. "But they had a dog that died. That almost touched them more than anything else."
Originally published on June 15, 2006
Search and rescue dog Jake, here seen in 2003, helped comb the rubble for survivors at the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attacks and later worked in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. He died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
Dog Who Searched for 9/11 Survivors Dies
By VERENA DOBNIK,AP
Posted: 2007-07-26 11:32:22
Filed Under: Nation
NEW YORK (July 26) - A black Labrador who became a national canine hero after burrowing through white-hot, smoking debris in search of survivors at the World Trade Center site died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
Photo Gallery: 'World-Class Rescue Dog'
courtesy of Mary Flood, AP Search and rescue dog Jake, here seen in 2003, helped comb the rubble for survivors at the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attacks and later worked in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. He died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
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Owner Mary Flood had Jake put to sleep Wednesday after a last stroll through the fields and a dip in the creek near their home in Oakley, Utah. He was in too much pain at the end, shaking with a 105-degree fever as he lay on the lawn.
No one can say whether the dog would have gotten sick if he hadn't been exposed to the smoky air at ground zero, but cancer in dogs Jake's age - he was 12 - is quite common.
Some rescue dog owners who worked at the World Trade Center site claim their animals have died because of their work at ground zero. But scientists who have spent years studying the health of Sept. 11 search-and-rescue have found no sign of major illness in the animals.
The results of an autopsy on Jake's cancer-riddled body will be part of a University of Pennsylvania medical study of Sept. 11 search-and-rescue dogs.
Flood had adopted Jake as a 10-month-old disabled puppy - abandoned on a street with a broken leg and a dislocated hip.
"But against all odds he became a world-class rescue dog ," said Flood, a member of Utah Task Force 1, one of eight federal search-and-rescue teams that desperately looked for human remains at ground zero.
Photo Gallery: Remarkable Working Animals
Stew Milne, AP Oscar the cat walks the halls at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I., Monday. Oscar comforts patients and seems to have an uncanny ability to sense when death is near, often curling up to patients during their final hours.
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Anguished New Yorkers honored the dogs.
On the evening of his team's arrival, Jake walked into a fancy Manhattan restaurant wearing his search-and-rescue vest and was promptly treated to a free steak dinner under a table.
Flood eventually trained Jake to become one of fewer than 200 U.S. government-certified rescue dogs - a muscular animal on 24-hour call to tackle disasters such as building collapses, earthquakes, hurricanes and avalanches.
After Hurricane Katrina, Flood and Jake drove 30 hours from Utah to Mississippi, where they searched through the rubble of flooded homes in search of survivors .
In recent years, Jake helped train younger dogs and their handlers across the country. Jake showed other dogs how to track scents, even in the snow, and how to look up if the scent was in a tree.
He also did therapy work with children at a Utah camp for burn victims and at senior homes and hospitals.
"He was a great morale booster wherever he went," says Flood. "He believed that his cup was always full, never half-full. He was always ready to work, eager to play - and a master at helping himself to any unattended food items."
Cynthia Otto of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, who is researching the health of Sept. 11 dogs, expects Jake and the other animals being analyzed will serve as sentinels on possible long-term consequences stemming from 9/11.
Jake's ashes will be scattered "in places that were important to him," says Flood, like his Utah training grounds, the rivers and hills near home where he swam and roamed.
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