The last surviving search dog that sniffed out Ground Zero for trapped survivors after the 9/11 terrorist attacks has died.
Bretagne, a 16-year-old golden retriever, was euthanized Monday at a 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.
Firefighters in the Houston suburb learned of Corliss’ sad decision Sunday night and paid tribute to their canine friend outside the animal hospital, the New York Daily News reports.
Bretagne’s body was draped in an American flag and taken to Texas A&M University, where veterinarians will perform a necropsy and study the effects of Ground Zero on her body.
Bretagne’s career began at Ground Zero. As a 2-year-old rescue pooch, she joined about 300 search dogs in the first wave of first responders at the disaster site on behalf of Texas Task Force 1.
She later surveyed the damage Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans before retiring at age 10.