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Animal Expo Honors WTC Rescue Dogs

Animal Expo Honors WTC Rescue DogsDuring the second year of the unique veterinary conference, Tufts officials presented $10,000 to search and rescue teams from the World Trade Center disaster site.

Boston [10.12.01] Just a month ago, Connecticut firefighter Mark Dawson and his search and rescue dog Elvis were combing through the World Trade Center wreckage just hours after the towers had collapsed. This week, the duo was at the second annual Tufts Animal Expo to accept a commendation and donation from Tufts officials in recognition of the critical support the specially-trained search and rescue teams provided in the hours and days after the attacks.

"We want to honor those animals and their partners who are working tirelessly and with great resolve to recover victims and protect our country," said Philip Kosch, the dean of Tufts' School of Veterinary Medicine.

During the conference's opening ceremonies on Tuesday, Tufts officials presented a $5,000 check to Dawson and the Massachusetts-based Federal Emergency Management Agency canine rescue team.

The donation was one of two checks presented by Expo organizers to honor the work of search and rescue teams from the Bay State.

Top Boston police officials were also on hand to accept a $5,000 donation to the Boston Police Bureau of Special Operations K-9 unit.

In an interview with Boston's WBUR radio, Kosch said many people don't realize how important a role these highly trained teams play in emergency situations.

"Most of the public isn't aware of the role that over 300 dogs and their partners play in search and rescue and recovery," he told the Boston-based affiliate of National Public Radio.

Dawson agreed.

"There are a lot of dogs which were really brave at the Trade Center, and to have a general recognition from the canine community is great," he told the Greenwich Time.

In addition to special honors, the Tufts Animal Expo presented a unique educational opportunity for many animal health professionals.

The only veterinarian-led conference for all segments of the industry, the four-day expo featured 500 hours of educational programming covering everything from the latest breakthroughs in veterinary medicine to the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on animals affected by the Sept. 11, tragedies.

Some of Tufts top veterinarians were on hand to present on their latest research and findings.

This is the second year for the unique event.

"Last year's inaugural event exceeded all expectations and drew more than 4,200 attendees from all 50 US states and 24 foreign countries, including Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, Thailand and India."


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