INDIAN LAKE - Animal Planet recently aired a one-hour documentary chronicling the legacies of working dogs at Ground Zero, including Nikie, a certified disaster relief canine who divides his time between this small town and Upper Montclair, N.J.
Frank Shane, founder of K-9 Disaster Relief, and partner Nikie worked for nine months on Ground Zero. "Hero Dogs of 9/11" aired Sept. 10, the evening before the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.
The program pays tribute to the dogs that were part of the rescue and recovery efforts. A stoic 120-pound golden retriever, Nikie enabled Shane to help rescue and recovery workers who needed psychological and emotional support.
According to Shane, "A dog immediately develops emotional bonds with those suffering from psychological trauma during times of unfathomable grief."
Shane is nationally recognized as a canine counselor and is certified by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress in crisis intervention and traumatic stress. His work has been featured in several books, including "9/11: Stories of Courage, Heroism and Generosity" and "Hero Dogs: Courageous Canines In Action."
He is the producer of Animal Bond Radio's "The Talk of Animals" and is executive director of an upcoming broadcast special on the human-animal bond.
"Hero Dogs of 9/11" also features Shane's new canine partner, Chance, who helped the children and victim families in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn. Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Like Nikie, Chance provided love and affection during times when there are no words.
"Hero Dogs of 9/11" was developed and produced by Tanya Kelen, executive producer and CEO of Kelencontent.
Shane is willing to speak to children’s groups about the animal - human bond. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.