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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 02-22-2002, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
Fertile Myrtle
 
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Guide dogs to be honoured for twin towers rescue

Guide dogs to be honoured for twin towers rescue

Two guide dogs who led their owners to safety minutes before the collapse of the World Trade Centre are to receive an award dubbed the animal version of the Victoria Cross.

Omar Rivera and Michael Hingson were led down the crowded stairs of the burning towers by their dogs Salty and Roselle on September 11.

Now the dogs, both yellow Labradors, are to be presented with the Dickin Medal by Britain's top veterinary charity, the PDSA, for their bravery.

The rescue dogs who searched for survivors at Ground Zero and at the Pentagon in Washington are also to be honoured with the award.

Marilyn Rydstrom , director general of PDSA, said: "The tragic events of September 11 have shocked the world to its core. The enormity of the human loss was almost too much to comprehend.

"As a charity devoted to the care of animals in Britain, PDSA could not ignore the courageous work undertaken at that time by the many man and dog partnerships.

"The guide dogs overcame adversity to lead their owners to safety and the search and rescue dogs worked tirelessly at Ground Zero and the Pentagon to find life in the ruins."

The Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 by the charity's founder Maria Dickin to recognise animals displaying "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" while serving with the Armed Forces and civil defence units during the Second World War and its aftermath.

This is the first time the animals' Victoria Cross has been awarded for activities outside the war.

The medals will be presented to the gallant dogs at a special ceremony at Ground Zero in New York on March 5.


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