September Eleventh-Rescue Dogs

Search dogs studied

New research suggests Nine-Eleven search-and-rescue dogs suffered cuts and scrapes, but no serious short-term effects from disaster site exposure. University of Pennsylvania veterinarians say dogs exposed to asbestos and other hazards in New York and Washington did not suffer higher rates of cancer than dogs used in crises elsewhere. Researchers tracked 97 dogs and their handlers deployed to the World Trade Center site and the Pentagon. Dogs also searched debris for human remains at the a landfill site on Staten Island. The dogs, mostly German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers, on average were five years old and spent ten days at one of the sites. Fifteen of the dogs have died since October of 2001, eight from cancer. Initial blood samples showed higher antibody levels than the control group. But the immune response returned to normal in the second year. The study continues.