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Dog Heroes: A Look At Heroic Canines Over The Years (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 09/11/2011 1:56 pm   Updated: 07/27/2012 5:40 pm

Many heroes emerged in the aftermath of September 11th, including dogs.

Estimates suggest that hundreds of trained dogs and their handlers worked at 9/11 sites on search and rescue operations.

According to a USA Today special by Sharon L. Peters, "No matter the calamity, natural or man-made, no matter the location, these animals that just hours earlier were, for the most part, romping in the yard with their families or chasing squirrels in the fields arrive on site in full-work mode and don't rest until ordered by their handlers to do so."

Reuters reports on one dog named Red, now 12 years old, who searched through rubble at the Pentagon in 12 hour shifts, spending weeks recovering bodies.

While some oppose the use of animals for human purposes, particularly in warfare, most appreciate the heroism of these canines.

Below are photos of heroic canines over the years, from 9/11 searches to water lifeguarding to earthquake rescues. Take a moment to appreciate the four-legged heroes of the world. To learn about adopting a dog who needs a home, visit Petfinder.com.

Italy Canine Lifeguards
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In this 2000 photo provided by SICS (Scuola Italiana Cani Salvataggio-Italian School of Canine Lifeguards), lifeguard dogs of the Italian school perform a makeshift rescue operation at an international lifeguard meeting in Winterbach, Germany. Hundreds of specially trained dogs form Italy's corps of canine lifeguards, deployed each summer to help swimmers who get into trouble in the nation's popular seas. Unlike their human counterparts, these lifedogs can easily jump from helicopters and speeding boats to reach swimmers in need of a rescue. With millions flocking to Italy's crowded beaches each summer, the Italian Coast Guard says it rescues about 3,000 people every year _ and their canine helpers are credited with saving several lives. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Italian School of Canine Lifeguards, ho)
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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |