During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.
Traveling across nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11. Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called “Retrieved” which is was released on September 9th, in advance of the tenth anniversary of the attacks. Reprints of the book are due out in late October. Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted “Retrieved” to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as a way to offer special recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.
‘I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although they are not forgotten, have not been as prominent as other stories surrounding 9/11,’ explained Charlotte, who splits her time between New York and Amsterdam.
Now, ten years on, just twelve of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled ‘Retrieved’.
Moxie, 13, from Winthrop , Massachusetts , arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.
Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight days.
Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis , Indiana , was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.
Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.
Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days.
Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days.
Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines.
Abigail, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days while Tuff, arrived in New York at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day.
Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days.
Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors
‘They speak to us as a different species and animals are greatly
important — [they enhance] our sense of empathy and [teach us] to put things into perspective.’