Jessica Wakeman
June 07, 2016 8:19 am
Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Dept

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.

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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.