Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Search and rescue dogs from 9/11 reunited in powerful photo series

dog-hero-2-real.jpg
dog-hero.jpg

Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas has reunited the search and rescue dogs who helped to retrieve survivors from the wreckage of the 9/11 disaster in a moving photo series.

Following the horrific collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York, over 100 dogs were brought in to help find people buried beneath the rubble.

Charlotte Dumas remembers the striking images of the dogs searching amongst the disaster site - some for so long that they received eye drops when they became tired - and wanted to find out what had happened to the dogs afterwards. She wrote on her website that: "the dogs searched and comforted, they gave consolation to anyone involved. Seeing these pictures, I was also comforted. They somehow emanated a spark of hope amidst this scene of destruction."

Bailey, from Franklin, Tennessee. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

The dogs had been brought in to work on the site by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from all over the United States because of the scale of the disaster. After survivors had been rescued, they returned to their home states across the country.

Ten years on, Charlotte wanted to find out what had happened to the dogs after the disaster. "These animals were all at the same place at the same time, one decade ago, for the same reason: to work. That experience unites them, and was the incentive for me to pursue this subject and to photograph the dogs", she wrote.

Bretagne, from Cypress, Texas. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

Through FEMA she managed to track down 15 of the 100 dogs, the majority of whom have now retired, but still live with the handlers who worked with them throughout their careers.

The result is her photo series Retrieved, picturing the dogs in their old age, but capturing their brave and dignified attitude, united by their noble work. "They now share the vulnerability of old age while symbolizing a full decade coming to a close", Charlotte wrote.

The series moved both dog owners and those affected by 9/11, and is now available to buy as a book from Charlotte's website and Amazon. Scroll down to see more of the dogs:

Merlyn, from Otis, Colorado. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

Orion, from Vacaville, California. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

Abigail, from Ojai, California. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

Guinness, from Highland, California. Photo: Charlotte Dumas

Words: Victoria Gray, Images: Charlotte Dumas

Related

shoe-hero-2.jpg

The Shoe Bakery makes cake and ice cream shaped shoes good enough to eat

fash-hero.jpg

This week's A-list fashion round up

downton-hero.jpg

The trailer for the new series of Downton Abbey is here

hero.jpg

Meet the A-list pets of Instagram

hero.jpg

This dog pool party will give you that warm summer feeling again

hamburg-hero.gif

Photo series of a dog's last day on earth goes viral

Comments

More

Lego builder: it's a real job and you can apply for it

Legoland is hiring a model designer

by Amy Swales
29 Mar 2017

“Dating with bipolar: how I learnt to be open about my mental health”

One writer's frank account of opening up to a new partner

29 Mar 2017

Sexist tube ad comparing a woman to a house extension taken down

But it shouldn't have been made in the first place.

by Hayley Spencer
29 Mar 2017

Watch the chilling new trailer for Netflix's Casting JonBenét

The film set to drop on April 28th

29 Mar 2017

This is how much your old Sylvanian Families toys are worth on eBay

(Hint: it’s a LOT)

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017

Love Actually fans, there’s another sequel in the works

And this time, Laura Linney is making a comeback

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Mar 2017

Espresso tonic is the new drinks trend taking over our Instagram feeds

Meet your new obsession

28 Mar 2017

Revealed: this new life hack could help you fall asleep

Forget counting sheep - research shows this is the way to the land of nod

28 Mar 2017

Rape survivor says judge was 'right' to warn women about 'drunkenness'

Megan Clark waived her anonymity to address the remarks

28 Mar 2017

This ‘penis seat’ is being used to highlight sexism on Mexico’s Metro

The literally uncomfortable seat is "exclusively for men".

by Hayley Spencer
28 Mar 2017