This month marks the 11th
anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Upon experiencing this tragedy during our Delegate meeting, staff knew we had to jump into action to assist the search and rescue dogs seeking survivors at the sites.
As a result of public pleas for much needed supplies and through our resourcefulness and cooperation of fanciers, we were able to purchase and transport a portable X-ray machine, gloves, aprons, and cases of film to NYC directly after the attacks. Lt. Dan Donadio, handler of ACE winner Appollo, escorted us to Ground Zero with police sirens wailing, where veterinarians from the Suffolk County SPCA were waiting to assemble the machine. What we saw there that day was a true example of the American spirit.
In the following months, we created and implemented the DOGNY public art and fundraising project, so we would be ready to assist search and rescue teams as a result of any future attacks on America. Chaired by Ronald Menaker, Karen LeFrak and myself, and managed by Daphna Straus, the project placed 111 painted German Shepherd Dog sculptures throughout New York City. Many of the sculptures were later auctioned at Sotheby's, and a book and DOGNY stuffed animal were also created. In total, the DOGNY project raised over $3.5 million, which became the seed money for the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. The Fund has since awarded millions in SAR grants nationwide.
We marked the anniversary of 9/11 this year by introducing new titles for Urban Search and Rescue dogs. The initial titles will be awarded to dogs that are FEMA and state deployable.
The first title was awarded at the 2012 September 11th Delegates meeting to Mountaineer Kennel Club delegate Beckie Stanevich and her English Springer Spaniel, “Juno”. On the same day, three surviving 9/11 search and rescue dogs were awarded American Kennel Club titles at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center
, which celebrated the grand opening of its training center.
The American Kennel Club and AKC Companion Animal Recovery are pleased to continue honoring the dogs that do so much for our nation. More information about the work of the Canine Support and Relief Fund is at www.akccar.org
Dennis B. Sprung
President and CEO