David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator
Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

"...I called the unit, and the man who answered became our donor..."
September 11 gave us a chance to address the relationship between dogs and people in a very special way. Canine search and rescue teams were used in great numbers, to look for survivors initially, and then look for bodies and then for remains in the days after the attack.

I made contact with the New York State Police canine unit that was sent down on the 13th or 12th of September to begin this process. I called the unit, and the man who answered became our donor: Trooper Rick Scranton of the New York Police Department canine team.

He had spent an entire month at the site, the World Trade Center site with his dog Theo, a big German Shepard. Searching and searching and crawling into tunnels, both of them on their bellies in the darkness; him with his headlamp and a searchlight, Theo with her nose and her claws and instincts.

But her search harness is now here with us, his helmet, his search lamp and various other things that help represent the important role that dogs played.