September 11th Tribute to K-9 Apollo-The First SAR Dog To Arrive at the South Tower

When the call came on September 11, 2001, K-9 Apollo was the first SAR dog to arrive at the South Tower, with his handler, Peter Davis. The pair arrived 15 minutes after the collapse to a scene a total chaos.


Apollo wasted no time getting to work assisting the injured victims and at one point, was almost killed by falling debris and fire. His life was only spared as he was wet from recently falling into a large pool of water. In hopes of finding living victims, Apollo bravely worked 18 hours a day for several weeks. He was given a daily bath to wash his body of the dangerous contaminants located at the scene and all the while, provided workers with moral support. In 2001, Apollo received the American Kennel Club Ace award.


On March 5, 2002, he was given the Dickin Medal (along with Salty and Roselle) on behalf of all search dogs who participated in the 9/11 rescue effort. Apollo died in November 2006 after suffering from health problems. He was born in 1992 and graduated from the NYPD Canine Special Operations Division in 1994. The unit was one of the first units in the United States to teach and deploy search-and-rescue dogs.


From 1994-2001, Apollo was one of New York’s best police dogs, contributing to multiple arrests; he was also a member of the first NYPD K-9 team to train in Urban Search and Rescue settings. Peter Davis remembering Apollo: “Apollo was an enthusiastic dog that loved to search. After several days at Ground Zero he became weak and was eventually forced to stop out of exhaustion. “



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