(SEPTEMBER 11TH/ANIMAL HEROES/POLICE DOGS) NEW YORK — Today is the anniversary of that fateful day of terror. Not all first responder victims were of the two-legged kind. Sirius, a Port Authority Police Department K-9, was killed when the Second Tower collapsed.
Read on to learn more about the only police dog killed in the attacks that day, the grief-stricken partner he left behind, and how this working dog—or perhaps more accurately, canine American—is rightfully honored along with other fallen heroes. Rest in peace, Sirius. — Global Animal
Downtown Express, Ronda Kaysen
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the Explosive Detector Team for the World Trade Center – consisting of Port Authority Police Sergeant David Lim and Sirius, a yellow Labrador retriever – were in their South Tower basement office when the first plane struck the North Tower. Officer Lim put his 4-year-old partner in his kennel and headed off to the damaged tower to help
“I told him, ‘I think we’re in a lot of trouble right now,’” said Lim, who assumed he and Sirius had somehow failed to detect an explosive.
“I said, ‘I’ll be back for you.’”
But before Lim could return, the events of the day unfolded, the South Tower collapsed followed by the North Tower, burying Lim on the fourth floor with six firefighters and an injured woman. The people were all safely rescued five hours later.
Lim did come back for Sirius eventually – on Jan. 22, 2002 when his remains were uncovered still in his kennel.
“I was very fortunate; so many people didn’t find anybody,” said Lim, adding that Sirius was treated with the same respect as all the other victims recovered. “They treated him like everybody else — bestowing the honors. I always appreciated that.”
At his memorial service the following April at Liberty State Park, 400 people attended including 100 K-9 teams from across the country.
“Sirius has his own following,” said Lim. The dog has a memorial in his honor in Canada, a painting by dog portrait artist Debbie Stonebraker and numerous Web sites commemorating him.
Sirius was not your typical bomb dog.
“He was a big mush. You thought he was a lap dog, even though he was almost 100 lbs.,” remembered Lim. “He was very methodical… It was very cute watching him work.”
More Downtown Express: http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_112/dogrun.html
Editor’s note: To clarify, and as Sirius’ partner, Sergeant David Lim, personally notes in Global Animal’s comments below, Sirius died when the South Tower collapsed. Sirius was kept in the Port Authority office in the South Tower (2 WTC) for his safety during the chaos following the plane collision into the North Tower (1 WTC). No one could have predicted the unthinkable. Within two hours, the Twin Towers collapsed, killing 2,606 people in the towers and on the ground, including 37 Port Authority officers. And Sirius, Port Authority Police Department K-9 #17. ~ Leah Lessard Jeon, Global Animal.
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