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The canine members of Urban Search and Rescue Teams who contributed to the Sept. 11th rescue missions at the Pentagon and World Trade Center captured the hearts of America. And now, Great Britain, too.

Great Britain has bestowed the PDSA Dickin Medal for gallantry to the 300 dogs who assisted in the rescue missions. The TEEX-administered Texas Task Force 1 utilized four canines during its nine days at Ground Zero and has been included in the award.

The PDSA Dickin Medal is the highest honor Britain can bestow on any animal in a time of conflict or in the face of danger. In American terms, it is the animal equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

“We are very proud to accept this distinguished award,” says Kem Bennett, TEEX and TX-TF1 Director. “Every one of our task force members contributed enormously to the rescue mission, and certainly, the canines played an integral part.”

The Medal was presented at a special ceremony at the Rescue Workers Memorial at Ground Zero in New York in March. NYPD canine unit search and rescue dog “Apollo” and his handler accepted the medal on behalf of all the canines involved in the effort. The presentation was the first time the Medal was awarded outside the activities of World War II and its aftermath.

Says PDSA Chairman Roy Trustram Eve, “The people of Britain were appalled by the events of September 11th and still share in your grief. As a charity devoted to the care of animals, PDSA could not ignore the courageous work undertaken at the time by the many man and dog partnerships.”

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