Vol 4 No 1

Winter 2002

Front Page

Features in this Issue:

GRRI's Rescue Parade

Helping the WTC Disaster Search & Rescue Teams

Holiday Shopping with GRRI

Happy News

Letters to GRRI

On-line GRRI News Archives GRRI News Index Page


Helping the WTC Disaster Search And Rescue Teams

In the aftermath of September 11th, the generosity of people around the country to the people and animals directly affected by those events was nothing short of inspirational.  Just as none of us will forget what happened on that terrible day, none of us will ever forget the incredible response of so many caring individuals ... from the uniformed response personnel, to the volunteers, to the contributors from far and wide. 

For GRRI volunteers, like so many others, our first thoughts that day were with family, friends, neighbors and fellow volunteers, so many of whom lived or worked in lower Manhattan.  We also were concerned about Jagger and his Port Authority Police Partner, Officer Rich Colon ... who had been stationed at the World Trade Center.

As the day wore on, we were very relieved to learn that Rich and Jagger were safe -- they happened to be off duty that morning; we accounted for family and friends and neighbors and fellow volunteers; and, sadly, we learned of the many -- both known to us and strangers -- who were missing.

At a time of fast moving and often conflicting information about the status of rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero, all of us at GRRI wanted to do something to help.  But what?

First, we decided to email our mailing list to advise them to contact us if they knew of a Golden needing our help as result of the tragedy, and to alert them that we would be keeping our website updated with information pertaining to WTC related animal rescue overall. Then, as Search and Rescue teams from around the country began their efforts, we worked to find out what they needed most.  Their answer was clear:  Money.

In very short order, and thanks to some very dedicated and enterprising volunteers who held a garage sale in one case, and made and sold patriotic and dog themed ribbons at several local events, GRRI then raised and donated more than $2,600 to the search and rescue team efforts.

One organization, Northeast Search and Rescue, is local to the area, with volunteer teams from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Their teams and others spent more than 3 weeks at the Fresh Kills Landfill, combing debris for human remains which were then collected for DNA testing. The work was so hazardous -- particularly for the dogs -- that many of the animals have required substantial medical care and may have to be retired from future service.  A terrible loss, since it takes approximately 2 years of highly specialized training for each dog to become a certified search dog. Ribbon sales generated $1,864 for the Recovery Dog Fund, which will be used to help offset the various veterinary and other costs the Fresh Kills teams absorbed during their volunteer efforts.

The balance of our ribbon sales -- and the proceeds from a garage sale (see our Letters page) -- amounted to $789, and was donated to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a California based organization who turns rescued and donated dogs into search dogs, and who sent 13 SAR teams to Ground Zero.

GRRI extends its heartfelt thanks to the many people who made these donations possible.

Many SAR teams worked tirelessly in the wake of the WTC disaster ... and have ongoing needs to help them recover from their efforts and prepare for whatever missions lie ahead.