The Last 9/11 Service Dog Has Passed Away at 16

She was given a hero’s farewell. 

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Photo by Barcroft/Getty Images

Bretagne (pronounced Brittany), the last known surviving search-and-rescue dog from 9/11, was euthanized on Monday at age 16—just shy of her 17th birthday. The golden retriever worked with hundreds of other search dogs in an attempt to find survivors amongst the rubble where the World Trader Center once stood. It is an understatement to say she will be missed:

In addition to responding to the 9/11 attacks, the golden retriever and her owner, Denise Corliss, have worked together as a search team in response to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Ivan, among other disasters, according to TODAY. Though she retired from formal search work at age 9, she continued to help others by volunteering as a reading assistance dog at a local elementary school.

As Bretagne entered, and later departed, the Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress, Texas on Monday, representatives from Texas Task Force 1 and the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department saluted her.

“This was a very small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who truly has been a hero,” Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department Captain David Padovan told TODAY. “Just because she’s a K9 doesn’t make her any less part of our department than any other member.”