March 20, 2012
BURKE, Va. — A special dog used to help people is getting some much-needed help of her own at a Virginia clinic, myFOXdc.com reported Monday.
Red, a 12-year-old black Labrador, is one of the last surviving search and rescue dogs deployed during the 9/11 attacks.
Her handler, Heather Roche, told WTTG-TV that Red was recently certified when Sept. 11, 2001, occurred, and the devastating terror attacks were her first big mission.
Red’s job was to find DNA evidence at The Pentagon’s north parking lot with 26 other dogs, and according to Roche, she did a “fantastic job.”
“I got her as a puppy … You have to convince [her] everything that she does, whether it’s climbing ladders or any kind of search, that it’s her idea,” Roche told WTTG-TV. “No matter what I’ve asked her to do, she’s done it and she’s done it flawlessly.”
But in her old age Red developed crippling arthritis, and underwent stem cell regenerative therapy Monday to help ease her pain so she can get back out on the job.
Dr. John Herrity of Burke Animal Clinic in Burke, Va., told WTTG-TV, “Red has a back issue that, after a fall from a ladder has not really been right, and has been living in pain, so we’re going to give those stem cells IV [intravenously] and then also inject them along the back to try to help Red’s comfort.”
“She’s had a great career and has made a difference to a lot of families by bringing their loved ones home,” Roche said.
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9/11 search and rescue dog receives stem cell therapy at Virginia clinic