Keeps your eyes peeled.  If you come across brightly painted, unusual statues of full-sized German Shepherd dogs, you may have stumbled upon one of 100 specially commissioned art pieces honoring the search and rescue dogs of September 11 2001.

DOGNY, America’s Tribute to Search and Rescue Dogs was a public art initiative commissioned by the American Kennel Club to honor the search and rescue dogs involved in post-September 11th operations and to raise money to support future endeavors. After the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United 93 crash in Shanksville, PA, teams of handlers and dogs rushed in to assist in locating survivors. The AKC wanted to acknowledge these dogs with a public show of appreciation and a national effort to support their future missions. On the first anniversary of September 11, AKC and its affiliates, companies in the pet products industry, and many other organizations worked together to display over 100 uniquely painted sculptures of a Search and Rescue Dog throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The sculptures were displayed in throughout the streets of Manhattan for approximately three months. Each sculpture was sponsored by a patron and painted by an independent artist.

In Thanksgiving of 2002, the DOGNY sculptures were brought to Sotheby’s for a charity auction. One hundred percent of funds raised by AKC for DOGNY (including donations, sponsorships, and auction sales) have been allocated in the 501(c)(3) AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund for volunteer and professional canine search and rescue organizations throughout the country.

Many could be sitting in private collections, but many have been bought by dog and animal welfare organizations where they change the location of the statue every few months.  As with “Above and Beyond”.  This beautiful dog is now on display at Portland Fire Station 1, located at 55 SW Ash Street through the end of the year.  This is the only statue to come to Oregon and was purchased through the collective efforts of three American Kennel Club Member Clubs of Rose City.

There is a picture book of DOGNY available here at Amazon.com.  Each piece of art is explained by the artist along with the artist’s bio.

For more information on DOGNY and future initiatives, click here for their website.

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