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D2006-46

Dear Daisy Dog

I read that many of the emergency workers who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 now have serious respiratory disease. What about the dogs that assisted them?

Daisy Responds

They’re remarkably healthy, despite having been exposed -– without protective gear -– to the same hazardous conditions human emergency workers faced.

An estimated 250 to 300 search-and-rescue (SAR) dogs participated in rescue and recovery missions at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Since then, veterinary researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have closely followed the physical and behavioral health of some of the SAR dogs.

The veterinarians have examined blood work, chest x-rays, MRI test results and behavior surveys.

During the first year, most of the SAR dogs in the study developed injuries and illnesses, but their problems were minor.

Since then, the SAR dogs that continued to participate in the study have experienced no increased incidence of disease -– including cancer of the nasal passages or respiratory tract.

As a canine couch potato, I revere these SAR dog heros, and I’m glad they have remained healthy.

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