A Final Salute: Last Known 9/11 Search Dog is Euthanized

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Bretagne was given a final salute before being euthanized. Photo: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department ----------------------------------
Bretagne was given a final salute before being euthanized. Photo: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department
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Bretagne, believed to be the last surviving 9/11 rescue dog at Ground Zero, was saluted by firefighters outside a Texas veterinary hospital on Monday before being euthanized. The ailing golden retriever was suffering from kidney failure. She was nearly 17 years old.

According to reports by the Houston Chronicle, Bretagne spent her entire life with owner/handler Denise Corliss, a resident of Cypress, TX, and Cy-Fair volunteer firefighter. The were deployed to Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, where they searched for victims along with some 300 other canine rescue dogs. She last visited the site on the 14th anniversary of the attacks.

A tearful Corliss is comforted by a Texas State Trooper. Photo: Houston Chronicle ------------------------------------
A tearful Corliss is comforted by a Texas State Trooper. Photo: Houston Chronicle
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Bretagne and Corliss were on hand to help out following other disasters, as well, including Hurricanes Ivan, Rita and Katrina, according to Today.com.

Following retirement from active service at age 10, Bretagne continued to serve the community, helping with the training of other rescue dogs and doing programs with elementary school children, including those with autism.

Bretagne’s body was draped in an American flag and transported to Texas A&M University. Veterinarians there will evaluate her body to learn how it was affected by time spent at Ground Zero.

β€œShe had lived longer and accomplished more than anybody,” David Padovan, a spokesman for the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department in suburban Houston, told the NY Daily News.

Corliss & Bretagne on the job. Photo: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department ----------------------------------
Corliss & Bretagne on the job. Photo: Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department

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