Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sirius 9-11 Canine Casualty

Sirius RIP. 9/11/2001

September 11, 2001, Port Authority Police Officer David Lim was in the basement below the World Trade Center when the first explosion hit Tower One. Officer Lim put his 4-year-old Yellow Lab partner "Sirius" into his crate and raced upstairs to investigate.

His last words to Sirius were: "You stay there. I'll be back for you."
Sirius was the resident bomb-sniffing dog at the World Trade Center's Port Authority K-9 Unit.

Neither David nor anyone in the world could have expected both towers to collapse that day, claiming thousands of human lives and one dog's. Sirius became the one canine casualty of the WTC terrorist attack.

That morning, Officer Lim raced up 43 flights of stairs to assist and direct the fleeing individuals when the evacuation began. He was helping to carry a woman down near the fourth or fifth floor when the tower collapsed and buried them. "It was like an avalanche," he describes. "We were just waiting there to die."

Officer Lim was himself rescued that afternoon just after 3pm. Nobody kept count on how many people he had been able to help escape, but unfortunately one individual very dear to him didn't make it out. David made several attempts to get back to the basement were Sirius was crated, but firefighters and officers at that point were trying to secure the scene and would not allow re-entry.

In addition, doctors would not allow Officer Lim to search at "the pile" because of the emotional toll it could have taken on him. But he kept tabs on the rescue effort, checking in periodically to ask whether they had made it to the kennel area. Finally, the call came: they had found Sirius. Investigators said that Sirius had died instantly when the kennel collapsed.

On Thursday January 24, 2002, under full honors, complete with a prayer and a salute, the body of Sirius was removed from the wreckage.

"There was a flag over his bag and I carried him out with another officer, John Martin," says Officer Lim. "Everyone saluted. All the machinery was stopped—the same thing that is done for human police officers and firefighters."

May God Bless Sirius, and may God Bless all those who lost and who gave their lives on that terrible day. You will never be forgotten.

Chris Hoar
Co-Founder Pet Pardons  

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