Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Captain Scott Shields and his eleven-year-old golden retriever, Bear, traveled to Ground Zero from Connecticut to help in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. Bear was the first canine inside to search the rubble. He worked eighteen-hour days, and he is credited with finding the most victims, including FDNY Chief Peter Ganci and FDNY Commissioner Thomas Feehan.
Because of Bear’s heroism, Scott Shields established the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation that deployed 27 teams to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. They were credited with 847 live rescues and the evacuation of over 4,000 people by boat.
Bear also responded to the Oklahoma bombing site searching for victims.
Bear was written about for years in the major media as a hero. CNN, The New York Post, The Sun, The Greenwich Times, The Washington Times, and the Times of London.
Bear was honored as a Hero to Humanity by the United Nations, and his photograph was displayed there for the World Peace Celebration in 2003. He became the poster dog for the 911 rescue operations.
On September 11, 2004, the FDNY-EMS Academy in Fort Totten, New York honored Bear by etching his name into a brick that is part of a permanent memorial to the fallen heroes of 9/11.
Bear was wounded by a piece of metal at Ground Zero. He recovered fully but died one year later of cancer, just two months shy of his 13th birthday.
Bear was a top-of-the-line, all-out, honest-to-gosh, Atta-Boy hero.
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