Bretagne, the last remaining 9/11 search dog, got the hero’s send-off she deserves

Yesterday, we lost a hero: Bretagne, who was believed to be the last remaining search-and-rescue dog from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The 16-year-old golden retriever (whose name is pronounced “Brittany”) had slowed down considerably and was suffering from kidney failure, according to the New York Daily News. Firefighters from the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department flanked Bretagne with a salute as she entered the vet’s office in Houston where she was put down. The department draped an American flag over her body as it was carried out.

When she was only two, Bretagne and her handler Denise Corliss, a volunteer firefighter, were deployed on a search-and-rescue team to Ground Zero, the Houston Chronicle reported. Bretagne stayed on working as a therapy dog for people affected by the attacks and in 2005, she worked as a search-and-rescue dog after Hurricane Katrina.

Bretagne retired at age 10 and but kept busy in her retirement volunteering at a reading program for first-graders at an elementary school in Houston. Most recently, she had celebrated her 16th birthday in New York City with a doggie-sized cake.

She is believed to be the last of the 300 search-and-rescue dogs from Ground Zero. Her body will be escorted by officials to Texas A&M, where it will be studied for possible effects by Ground Zero.

Thank you for your service, Bretagne, and we hope you lived a long and happy life bringing joy to many people.