Last surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog dies

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Bretagne attends the American Humane Association’s 4th Annual “Hero Dog Awards”on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision for American Humane Association/AP Images)

Bretagne, a 16-year-old Golden Retriever who was believed to be the last surviving search-and-rescue dog to have worked in the wreckage of the World Trade Center after the attacks of 9/11, has passed away after her kidneys failed.

Her partner, Captain Denise Corliss, walked her into a veterinary hospital yesterday as the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department honored her with a salute.  She was put down at 5 p.m.

Bretagne became a full member of the CFVFD in 2000 and was the founding canine member of the K9 Search & Rescue Team with a certification as a FEA Disaster Search Dog.  She and Corliss responded as members of Texas Task Force 1 to the World Trade Center immediately after the Sept. 11th attack.

Throughout her heroic career she also responded to a number of notable disasters including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

She retired from active duty at the age of 10 but continued to serve her community as an ambassador for the department and assisted other search dogs in their training.

She also visited local schools and visited students with special needs.  Her calm demeanor and warm heart helped the young and old through their own difficult moments.

In a release the department said:  "Some may say that the most a dog could be is a pet, however, to the over 400 members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, Bretagne was a civil servant, a hero and is family.  We will remember her fondly, and continue serving the community with her as inspiration."

Bretagne would have been 120 in human years.