09/07/2013 08:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Hero Dogs of 9/11 Tells the Stories We Need to Hear

Eleven years ago I was getting ready to go to what I thought would be another day of my high school junior year. My mom had the news on the television in her room.

"Something has happened," she said.

I remember looking at the screen. There was a live feed of the World Trade Center, dark smoke billowing from one of the towers. It looked like a sequence from a movie.

We listened to the news on the radio in the car on the way to school. On the opposite coast, in California, it hardly seemed real. The school administration called a special assembly. We sat huddled in the gymnasium, quiet with confusion, fear, and dread.

The profoundness of the day's tragedy slowly settled in. The towers collapsed, the word "terrorist" rose among the din of news reporters, and heroes were born.


On that day, 10,000 emergency workers sprang into action. Among those, 300 were humble dogs. Dogs trained for search and rescue, dogs trained to sniff bombs, and dogs trained to help comfort and heal -- they dutifully set about the task of helping out their human friends.

Hero Dogs of 9/11 is a documentary based on Dog Files' founder Kenn Bell's viral video short. It's an hour-long special chronicling the lives and actions of the 300 dogs who were at what's now known as Ground Zero the day the landscape of the United States changed forever. In honor of the event's 12th anniversary, Animal Planet will premiere the documentary on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

To commemorate 9/11, the dogs who worked at Ground Zero, and the dedication of Dog Files' Kenn Bell to making sure these canine heroes receive the recognition they deserve, Dogster will host a Twitter question and answer with Bell before, during, and after the airing of the documentary. Use #HeroDogsQandA and @Dogster and @DogFiles. Please join us in this opportunity to discuss the importance these unsung heroes played on the day that shook the U.S. to its core.

Will you tune in?

This post originally written by Liz Acosta.

Read more on Dogster:

Remembering Heroic 9/11 Dogs

10 Things You Might Not Know About Soldier Dogs

Back from the War: Battlefield Puppies Reunited with Solders