Apollo, a German Shepherd, Was a 9/11 Search-and-Rescue Dog

Apollo and Peter Davis, trained search-and-rescue dogs, arrived at the World Trade Center 15 minutes after South Tower collapsed and quickly began searching the rubble piles for survivors – earning themselves the Dickin Medal for their efforts.

James Symington drove Trakr and Genelle Guzman across 15 hours from Nova Scotia, Canada, to Manhattan in aid of the rescue and recovery effort. They quickly located Genelle Guzman as one of the last survivors who needed rescue from amongst the debris.


Riley is a lively young girl who is struggling to adapt after the death of her mother, Troy. Although Troy tries to compensate, Riley still feels isolated. Her artistic gift lies with drawing, while Tino remains her best friend while they play tag tag together in the park. Riley also harbors feelings for Jordan whom she sees skateboarding around.

Though she tries her best to be more self-assured, she remains shy and timid around others. Unable to form close bonds with peers at school, she feels uncertain of her social life there. Upon noticing her awkwardness at home, her parents urge her to form more connections.

As soon as the Twin Towers collapsed, hundreds of search and rescue dogs came together to help find survivors amongst the smoldering rubble. Working tirelessly for two weeks at 12-hour days for days on end, these search dogs endured injuries such as cuts, scrapes, heat exhaustion and burns from searching tirelessly.

Apollo, a German Shepherd rescue dog, arrived just 15 minutes after the attacks with his handler Peter Davis. Though nearly killed by debris and firefall, Apollo continued working – even jumping into a pool of water to remain alive!

Sage is a black and white border collie who joined FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue Team. Her first mission took her to the Pentagon where she sniffed out the body of one of the terrorists responsible for American Flight 77 crashing there; earning her the moniker “Sage the Wonder Dog”.


Sage, a young border collie from Florida, began her search-and-rescue work for FEMA at 18 months of age. On her initial mission following 9/11 at the Pentagon, Sage sniffed out one of the terrorists responsible for flying American Flight 77 into it – then went on to help people stranded by hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as serving as children’s hero at cancer camps, and ultimately receiving the 2009 American Humane Association Hero Dog Award.

Searching through piles of rubble was physically and emotionally taxing for dogs, leading to some becoming discouraged with the task and eventually abandoning it all together. To maintain morale among their charges, handlers often staged “mock finds” to provide their animals with a sense of accomplishment.

Coby and Guinness were two labrador retrievers who tirelessly searched through the World Trade Center rubble for 11 days in 12-hour shifts, uncovering human remains found within its debris. Unfortunately, both dogs are no longer with us today but their memory will live on for evermore.

Apollo was a German Shepherd that served with the New York City police department’s inaugural K-9 urban search and rescue team. He arrived 15 minutes after South Tower fell, searching for survivors amongst its rubble piles for weeks after. When falling water and flames submerged him he still returned immediately back to work once his handler Peter Davis cleared away any debris off him; ultimately receiving the Dickin Medal as an honor given only to military service dogs.

Trackr, Bretagne, Nickie, Tikva and Roselle were search-and-rescue dogs that risked their lives to save others in the aftermath of 9/11. Although each one passed away within years of that tragedy, their memories serve as a testament to our unbreakable bond with our animal companions.


Sirius was a yellow Lab that worked below the South Tower with Port Authority Police Lieutenant David Lim. As soon as he saw that the tower began shaking, Lim quickly secured Sirius in his kennel and ran to help others instead of retrieving his beloved pet before it collapsed; unfortunately he never came back out alive, being killed when its collapse occurred; his remains were later discovered and given proper burial with honor guard present in 2002.

Apollo graduated from the NYPD Canine Special Operations Division when he was two years old and was one of the first K-9s on 9/11, arriving 15 minutes after South Tower collapsed and working 18-hour shifts searching for survivors. Apollo almost succumbed to fire and debris but his handler quickly brushed him off allowing him to continue searching. Later on he received the Dickin Medal (an animal equivalent of Victoria Cross). In recognition of his service he received this honorable distinction.

Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is part of Canis Major constellation and known by many as either the “Dog Star” or “The Pup.” Sirius B, its white dwarf twin, may also be known by this moniker due to their close orbit around one another – so close that their light merges together at times! Only through professional equipment like Hubble Space Telescope are their individual lights distinguishable.


Trakr, the German Shepherd was part of the first search and rescue dog team sent to Ground Zero after the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11th 2001. James Symington, a Canadian police officer driving Trakr from Nova Scotia all the way across to New York City worked 18-hour shifts searching for survivors within the rubble left from World Trade Center collapse.

On their first day in NYC, Trakr discovered a “live hit,” alerting rescue workers of an individual alive under the rubble. That person turned out to be Genelle Guzman – one of only 20 survivors still buried after World Trade Center fell. She was eventually rescued 26 hours after she became trapped under it all. Trakr continued working until he collapsed from smoke inhalation and burns from working there alone.

Trakr passed away at 14 years of age in April 2009, yet his legacy lives on through five cloned puppies named Trustt, Solace, Valor, Prodigy and Deja Vu that were born later that June. These pups will eventually become search and rescue dogs.

Apollo was another heroic hero dog working with the first New York Police K-9 Urban Research and Rescue team. He and his handler Peter Davis arrived within 15 minutes of South Tower collapsing. For weeks afterward they worked 18-hour shifts searching the World Trade Center’s contaminated rubble for survivors; during which they are credited with saving several people’s lives – including two police officers who they also saved from its debris.


Apollo, a German shepherd, was the first dog on scene at 9/11 attacks. Together with Peter Davis as his handler, they arrived 15 minutes after South Tower collapsed and worked 18-hour days for weeks searching rubble piles – saving eight lives along the way. Both Apollo and Davis received one of the first American Kennel Club Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence as well as receiving the Dickin Medal award for their efforts.

Apollo graduated from the NYPD Canine Special Operations Division and served on its first K-9 Urban Search and Rescue team. While Apollo spent time working for the NYPD, his contributions at Ground Zero stood out as his most critical mission.

At one point, Apollo was nearly killed by fire and debris, yet survived due to being doused with water before arriving at the site. Even when his handler cleared away debris from him, Apollo continued searching until his handler saw signs of fatigue from exhaustion.

After the attacks, Apollo became a national hero and received the Dickin Medal, an animal equivalent of Victoria Cross. Together with his handler, they spent months searching the rubble piles at World Trade Center and saved eight lives by finding clues within it.

After 9/11, Apollo was retired from the NYPD and went on to serve FEMA search and rescue dogs in Dominican Republic. Unfortunately he died a hero at 13-14 years old – an inspiration for all he met along the way.

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