9/11 canine hero passes away

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CYPRESS, TX – It was a touching tribute to a canine hero.

The Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department saluted 16-year-old, Bretagne (pronounced Brit-nee) with an Honor Wall and a final farewell, as she walked into Fairfield Animal Hospital in Cypress.

The 16-year-old Golden Retriever had been battling health problems, but her loss is profound to her coworkers. “We don’t consider it losing a canine member. We consider it losing a member of our fire department. She was a member since 2000, she was part of us, part of our family and losing her is no different than losing anybody else” explains Captain David Padovan of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department.

Bretagne wasn’t just any K9, she and her owner and partner, Denise Corliss, spent 10 days combing the rubble for bodies after the 9/11 attacks in New York.  A couple of years ago, they returned to the site to visit the 9-11 Memorial.

Ground Zero was Bretagne’s first disaster search and rescue deployment, but not her last. “She was part of the Texas Task Force 1, so she was deployed during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, several other deployments throughout the state of Texas, in addition to working with other agencies” says Padovan.

This phenomenal pooch retired in 2009, but continued to serve her community by helping children read. “She provided a non-judgmental ear to allow the first graders to practice their reading skills. It was just absolutely wonderful to watch her walk into the school and see the kids’ faces” says Padovan.

Bretagne did more in her 16 years, than many folks do in their life.  When asked to use one word to describe this dog, Padovan tells us,“I can’t describe Bretagne in one word, but I can describe her as incredible, inspirational and a hero.”

Thank you for your service Bretagne, and rest in peace.



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