K-9 Courage, a temporary exhibition in the Museum’s South Tower Gallery, honors the hundreds of dogs that participated in the response to the 9/11 attacks.
On view until summer 2021
About the Exhibition
K-9 Courage honors the hundreds of dogs that participated in the response to the 9/11 attacks. With dedication and specialized expertise, these four-legged responders made a difference with their handlers during the rescue and recovery efforts—and made a lasting impression on people around the world.
After September 11, 2001, K-9 teams searched the wreckage of the crash sites for survivors and victims, and they comforted responders and the families of victims. When images of the dogs at work appeared in news coverage, they brightened 9/11’s dark aftermath.
Ten years after the attacks, photographer Charlotte Dumas remained curious about the fate of the 9/11 dogs. She located 15 of them and traveled around the United States to make portraits of the dogs in their retirement at home.
This exhibition combines photographs of the dogs during their service with Dumas’s portraits of them later in life. It also includes artifacts that tell stories of working dogs and disaster response veterinary teams.
Almost two decades after dogs responded to the 9/11 attacks, and one decade after Charlotte Dumas revisited some of them in her project, K-9 Courage pays tribute to the canine responders that were ready when the country needed them.
K-9 Courage is accompanied by an audio tour that features interviews with Dr. Cynthia Otto, Executive Director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Vet Working Dog Center, and Pat Kaynaroglu, the Center’s Training Manager. The tour explores dogs’ aptitude for search and rescue work and the training that develops their expertise.
Listen to a clip from the audio tour below, or read the transcript.
K-9 Courage Family Day
This family-friendly K-9 festival celebrated the opening of this special exhibition. The multi-hour, drop-in event featured tours of the exhibition, dog-themed crafts and activities for families, special film screenings, and working dog demonstrations.
No Ordinary Dog
In his new book, No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid, Will Chesney shares his story of working alongside military working dog Cairo as a member of SEAL Team Six and the emotional bond that formed between them.