EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: 9-11 and Search Dog Foundation

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9-11 and Search Dog Foundation

9-11 and EFA's
Charity of the Month:
Search Dog Foundation

Written by Cori of Terikor
Photographs used with permission

Today is the anniversary of 9-11. I think it's important to know that Search Dog Foundation (SDF) played an important role in the search and rescue at the World Trade Center.   

One of the Search Teams going to Ground Zero was Debra Tosch with her dog Abby. Deborah went to Ground Zero as part of the Los Angeles City California Task Force 1.  9-11 was Debra’s first deployment. Today Debra is the Executive Director of the SDF.

9-11 Search and Rescue with Debra and Abby

Asking Debra what effected her most about 9-11, Debra told me, “The fact that mankind can do that to each other is horrific.”  Debra went on to say, “As we walked in the outlining area we could see the damage to buildings around us but when we rounded the corner and first saw the pile we became overwhelmed and stopped.  We were thinking where do you even begin to look?”  

As the humans were besieged by the devastation the dogs had quite a different reaction as they instinctively knew they were being called to action and were signaling to their handlers lets get started with the search.

Pluis Davern Lead Trainer SDF

Last year, SDF had a special tribute at the 10-year anniversary of 9-11.  Here I was privileged to meet many of the handlers who were deployed to Ground Zero.  On this day we all paid tribute to those who lost and sacrificed their lives at 9-11.  At the event I was able to see a demonstration lead by Pluis Davern, SDF’s lead trainer.  It is amazing to see how devoted the search and rescue dogs are to their handlers and the task they are given.  

For me, this day was very special. I had already discovered the importance of our search and rescue dogs through the articles I had written about search and rescue dog Pearl and the Japan Earthquake but on this day I got to see first hand how vital it is to this country. For this, I will never forget.

Bill and Hunter

Each disaster is different, there is always grief and loss but the Search Dog Foundation and their teams are there to help in any way they can and for the team handlers this is rewarding. The response to first glimpsing the devastation of a hurricane is quite different. The force and damage caused by Mother Nature is widespread and intensive.  

Wilma Melville’s dream for the Search Dog Foundation has come to fruition. Each disaster that search and rescue teams are deployed proves just that.

Wilma Meville Founder of SDF

This post includes excerpts from articles Cori Solomon wrote in the past about the Search Dog Foundation on Examiner.com. To read our first feature on SDF- click HERE.


  1. What an incredible organization and search & rescue teams - its an honor to have SDF as our Charity of the Month !
    Thank you for the work that you do !

    Team Captain for EFA

  2. They are all heroes - both the dogs and the humans who work with them!

  3. This is a great organization! Very important work and very rewarding - for the dogs, the handlers, and most of of, those whom they rescue!

  4. I am so thankful for the dedicated trainers and their dogs, it takes a special gift to be able to do this kind of work and I am glad we are supporting them this month!


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