KINGSBROOK ANIMAL HOSPITAL 9/11
Shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital sent Dr. Morse Davis to Ground Zero in NYC as a volunteer. The project was overseen by the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Suffolk County SPCA) and they needed veterinarians to provide care for the search and rescue dogs who were probing the site for survivors. They set up a mobile veterinary hospital on-site that provided the veterinarians with everything they needed to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses these brave dogs suffered. The most common ailments treated were dehydration, injuries to the feet and limbs, and irritation to the eyes from the smoke and dust.
The massive search for survivors included nearly 100 dogs from across the United States. Most of the dogs involved were German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers and Border Collies. The last surviving search and rescue dog from the Ground Zero site died a few months prior to the 12th anniversary of the 2001 attack.
Scientists spent years following the health of the dogs involved in the search for survivors. To their surprise, they found no increase in the risk of major illnesses such as respiratory disease and cancer in these dogs. This is in contrast to humans involved in the rescue and clean-up, in whom up to 70% suffered significant respiratory problems. There are many theories as to why this may be the case. One is that dogs’ noses are longer, possibly serving as a better filter to protect their lungs from toxic dust and debris.