Searched for 9/11 Survivors
By VERENA DOBNIK,AP
Filed Under: Nation
NEW YORK (July 26)
- A black Labrador
who became a national canine hero after burrowing through white-hot,
debris in search of survivors at the World Trade Center site died
after a battle with cancer.
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
Hurricane Katrina. He died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
Flood, here with
Jake near the World Trade
Center on Sept. 22, 2001, adopted the Labrador when he was a disabled
old puppy. "Against all odds he became a world-class rescue dog," she
searches in the debris of Hurricane
Katrina in Mississippi as a rescue worker looks on.
'World-Class Rescue Dog'
Mary Flood, AP Search
and rescue dog Jake, here seen in 2003, helped comb the rubble for
at the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attacks and later
in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. He died Wednesday after a
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,
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
of Sept. 11 search-and-rescue have found no sign of major illness in
The results of
an autopsy on Jake's cancer-riddled
body will be part of a University of Pennsylvania medical study of
11 search-and-rescue dogs.
adopted Jake as a 10-month-old
disabled puppy - abandoned on a street with a broken leg and a
all odds he became a world-class
rescue dog ," said Flood, a member of Utah Task Force 1, one of
search-and-rescue teams that desperately looked for human remains at
Remarkable Working Animals
AP Oscar the cat walks
the halls at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in
R.I., Monday. Oscar comforts patients and seems to have an uncanny
to sense when death is near, often curling up to patients during their
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.
eventually trained Jake to become
one of fewer than 200 U.S. government-certified rescue dogs - a
animal on 24-hour call to tackle disasters such as building collapses,
earthquakes, hurricanes and avalanches.
Katrina, Flood and Jake
drove 30 hours from Utah to Mississippi, where they searched through
rubble of flooded homes in search of survivors .
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.
dogs, expects Jake and the other animals being analyzed will serve as
on possible long-term consequences stemming from 9/11.
will be scattered "in places
that were important to him," says Flood, like his Utah training
the rivers and hills near home where he swam and roamed.
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created: September 12, 2001
updated: May 2014