9/11 Long Island Remembers: Search and rescue dogs

WOODBURY - On Sept. 11, hundreds of search and rescue dogs were called upon to scour the rubble at Ground Zero for survivors alongside first responders, and a group of volunteers from Long Island was there to treat the exhausted animals.

Ralph Fullbeir, a canine trainer with the Suffolk County Police Department, headed to Lower Manhattan with his dog two hours after the planes hit the towers. He recalls that the conditions were rough on both the handlers and the animals.

"Their eyes would get filled with the dust," he says. "Some of them looked like they went through a snowstorm just from a few hours of searching."

To help the four-legged first responders, the Suffolk SPCA set up a MASH unit at Ground Zero. At the time, it was the only mobile animal hospital in the U.S. that could treat so many animals on site.

Volunteer veterinarians and SPCA officers washed down the dogs, cleaned out their eyes and wrapped their paws cut by sharp debris.

In eight weeks, the SPCA treated more than 350 dogs, exhausted and dehydrated, getting them back to the task at hand.

The last of the Sept. 11 search and rescue dogs passed away recently.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Dr. Melinda Edwards taught and inspired the students 1 Former students surprise Baldwin H.S. chorus teacher
Demonstrators sit on the ground along Pennsylvania Ave. 2 Thousands march across US to protest Trump climate policies
Tens of thousands of Long Island students are 3 Thousands of students to opt out of state testing
Trump's road to the White House, paved in 4 Trump's 100-days vows: Hits, misses, unfinished business
According to police, Christopher Vorisek, of Farmingville was 5 Man arrested for DWI after fatal motorcycle crash in Selden

advertisement | advertise on News 12


Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.