WATCH: Remembering Kaiser and the 9/11 Search & Rescue Dogs

Kaiser was raised from birth to be a search & rescue dog by his owner and handler, Tony Zintsmaster. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Kaiser and Tony were working with FEMA Indiana Task Force 1 when their group received an urgent call requesting help at Ground Zero. Just hours later, they were speeding through the night with a caravan of police escorts toward New York City. The group arrived early the next morning at the Jacob Javits Center, where the operations base was being established, to receive their individual assignments.

Even before they arrived at the site, Kaiser and Tony could smell the scene of what was once the Twin Towers. As a military truck drove them towards a surreal landscape of ankle-deep dust, thick black smoke, burning fires and an 80-foot tower of rubble, they knew their work would be dangerous and difficult. Kaiser was injured on his second day when he sliced his paw on a sharp object in the pile. Brave as he was, Kaiser quickly returned to his work, heroically navigating through the smoldering, twisted steel. “During those nine days we encountered tragedy, heroism, valor, determination, professionalism, and humanity on many levels,” Tony says, and they persevered through the grim disappointment of finding no survivors.

Kaiser, who reluctantly retired in 2010 after completing many search & rescue missions, passed away on October 18, 2013 – just 9 days after his 15th birthday. We salute you, Kaiser!

Source: Animal Medical Center

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