Last known living 9/11 search dog dies in Texas at age 16

Bretagne the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 is walked by her handler Denise Corliss past a flank of members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department, as she was brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital, Monday, June 6, 2016, in Cypress, Texas to be euthanized. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — The last known living 9/11 search dog has died in a Houston suburb at age 16.

This Sept. 11, 2002, photo shows, K9 Search Specialist Denise Corliss and her search dog Bretagne in Houston, Texas. Bretagne the last known living 9/11 search dog has died in a Houston suburb at age 16. Bretagne was 2 years old when she and her handler, Corliss, were part of the Texas Task Force 1 sent to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack brought down the buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. (D Fahleson/Houston Chronicle via AP)
This Sept. 11, 2002, photo shows, K9 Search Specialist Denise Corliss and her search dog Bretagne in Houston, Texas.  (D Fahleson/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Bretagne, a golden retriever, was euthanized Monday at a veterinary clinic in the Houston suburb of Cypress, according to a statement from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.

Bretagne was 2 years old when she and her handler, Denise Corliss, were part of the Texas Task Force 1 sent to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack brought down the buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. They spent 10 days at the scene searching rubble for human remains.

Bretagne the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 looks is brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital, Monday, June 6, 2016, in Cypress, Texas to be euthanized. Bretagne was 2 years old when she and her handler, Denise Corliss, were part of the Texas Task Force 1 sent to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan after the terrorist attack brought down the buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. They spent 10 days at the scene searching rubble for human remains. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Bretagne was brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital, Monday, June 6, 2016, in Cypress, Texas to be euthanized. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP)

About two-dozen first responders lined the sidewalk leading to the veterinarian’s office and saluted Bretagne as she walked by for the final time Monday, The Houston Chronicle reported. An American flag was draped over her body as she was carried out of the facility.

Bretagne retired from active duty at age 9. At 15, she was taken by Corliss to the 9/11 memorial and participated in an interview with Tom Brokaw of NBC News. Corliss told NBC’s “Today” that in recent weeks Bretagne began experiencing kidney failure and slowing down.

Bretagne was nominated for a Hero Dog Award from the American Humane Association in 2014. An online biography posted by the organization says that Bretagne served as an ambassador for search and rescue dogs in retirement, often visiting elementary schools.

Bretagne and Corliss met with former President George H.W. Bush at his presidential library late last year.

A post on the Texas Task Force 1 Facebook page remembers “the valiant effort and dedication to finding a victim trapped in a destroyed building that Bretagne showed us on a regular basis.”

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