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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
which will be used to help offset the various veterinary
and other costs the Fresh Kills teams absorbed during
their volunteer efforts.
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.
extends its heartfelt thanks to the many people who made these donations possible.
SAR teams worked tirelessly
in the wake of the WTC disaster ... and have ongoing needs to help them recover from
efforts and prepare for whatever missions lie ahead.