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Everyday Heroes: Caring For Rescue Dogs
    Among the stories of heroism and help offered in the wake of the attacks of September 11, one of the more unusual efforts came from the largest supplier to companion-animal veterinary clinics in the nation, Henry Schein, Inc.
     When rescuers still held out hope for finding hundreds of people in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, they sent in search-and-rescue dogs specially trained to detect those who might have survived the carnage. However, the health and safety of the dogs were threatened by the sharp and twisted debris the animals were forced to pass through. 
     The VCA Antech-managed Manhattan animal hospital responded quickly and asked that Henry Schein rush in hundreds of veterinary supplies, ranging from protective foot pads to IV solutions meant to keep the dogs hydrated amidst Ground Zero's smoke and heat.
     Stanley Bergman, Chairman, President and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc. said, "We were fortunate to have the necessary supplies in regional warehouses and that escorted convoys were effective in getting those materials to the right people at the right time. This effort was modeled after the emergency scenarios we created to serve our more traditional hospitals.
No one ever anticipated that our vets would face a similar disaster condition of such enormity."
    Tory Koplin of VCA Antech stated, "Our people on site will never forget the folks from Henry Schein for their help, bringing their supply trucks to Ground Zero surrounded by police escorts. The human spirit is limitless and these efforts will live in me forever as a beacon in this dark night in history." 
     An estimated 200 to 300 dogs, mostly German shepherds and black or yellow Labrador retrievers, were brought from as far away as Iowa. When the dogs came off their shifts, their footpads were checked for debris and lacerations and their eyes were washed with a special solution prior to a quick medical exam. If the dogs were covered with debris, makeshift
showers with a bucket and hose were used to decontaminate and cool them down. Because the dogs were working among "hot spots" from fires still burning in the rubble, overheating was a constant peril, and some suffered exhaustion and heat stroke.
     During the World Trade Center tragedy, rescue dogs required special medical attention. 

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