The last surviving search dog from Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks has died. Bretagne, the beautiful blonde golden retriever sniffed out survivors in 2001. She lived a full life of 16-years. Bretagne died Monday at the Texas veterinary hospital, fire officials said. Owner and volunteer firefighter Denise Corliss is “distraught” over Bretagne’s death, Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Padovan told the Daily News. “She had lived longer and accomplished more than anybody,” Padovan said.
Firefighters in the Houston suburb paid tribute to their canine friend outside the animal hospital, saluting Bretagne one last time as she walked up the sidewalk with her handler. Bretagne’s body was draped in an American flag and taken to Texas A&M University. Veterinarians will perform a necropsy and study the effects of Ground Zero on her body. “She was one of a kind,” Padovan added. “She was always eager to do searchers, even after she ‘retired.’ ”
Padovan said Bretagne spent most of her time in her final days at home completing a bucket list made by Corliss and her husband, Randy. That list included Corliss bringing Bretagne to Robert Road Elementary School where young children had gotten to know her as a storytime companion.
Bretagne’s career as rescue dog began at Ground Zero at 2-years-old on behalf of the Texas Task Force 1. She traveled from Texas to join roughly 300 search dogs in the first wave of first responders at Ground Zero.
9/11 was a horrible day in American history, but through the service of our Firefighters and First Responders like Bretagne lives were saved.