The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inspired heroism writ large—and that heroism wasn’t limited to humans. Search and rescue (SAR) dogs worked tirelessly in the wake of the trag-edy, enduring the same dangers and hardships as their human handlers. The American Kennel Club (AKC) immediately stepped up and created a fund to provide food, supplies and veterinary care for those dogs as they undertook the herculean task of searching the rubble for remains and survivors.
This initial outreach spurred the AKC to create the Dog New York (DOGNY) project, which estab-lishes a permanent resource called the Canine Support and Relief Fund. This fund will be earmarked for future SAR efforts.
A dozen Georgia canine associations have contributed $25,000 to DOGNY, and their support has been acknowledged via a memorial statue and plaque in downtown Atlanta.
This writer happened upon that memorial quite by chance; it sits next to the Georgia Department of Agriculture building at Washington Street and MLK Jr. Drive, just across from the Georgia State Capi-tol. The serene, lovingly landscaped square encircles a base of Georgia granite on which a full-size bronze German shepherd stands nobly. A plaque details the DOGNY project’s purpose, and lists Georgia’s canine club contributors.
Its appellation is simply, “Man’s Best Friend.”
To learn more and donate, visit www.akc.org/dogny.
– Steve Kilbride