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Award for US canine heroes

Two American guide dogs who led their owners to safety from the World Trade Centre on 11 September have been awarded trophies by Britain’s guide dog association

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association UK has presented awards to the two guide dogs who saved the lives of their owners after the attack on the World Trade Centre in September last year.

The trophies were presented at the Assistance Dogs International meeting in San Antonio, Texas .

The Labradors, Roselle and Salty, remained with their owners, Michael Hingson and Omar Rivera, on that fateful day in spite of the appalling condition, leading them down crowded, smoke-filled stairwells more than 70 floors up.

Geraldine Peacock, Guide Dogs UK’s chief executive, said: “Time and time again, we are humbled by the sheer devotion guide dogs demonstrate towards their owners.

“However, the bravery that both these dogs showed when facing the dreadful conditions in the Twin Towers and leading their owners to safety is quite extraordinary.

“Guide dogs are trained to look after their owners’ needs and guide them through difficult situations, but this was clearly unprecedented and both dogs handled themselves with tremendous courage and devotion.”

A spokesperson for the association said the idea for the awards came after it had been contacted by many members of staff and the public who wanted to do something to acknowledge the act of bravery by the two dogs.

  • Click here to read the full story of Michael Hingson.
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