9/11 Tribute Center Presentation “The Little Tree that Grew ~ A Dog’s Teddy Bear Dreams on Ground Zero”

On December 30, 2015 at 2:00 PM, the 9/11 Tribute Center will host a holiday program – “The Little Tree that Grew ~ A Dog’s Teddy Bear Dreams on Ground Zero.”

Frank Shane, Executive Director, of K-9 Disaster Relief will be at the Center with his canine partner Chance, who has appeared on several episodes of Animal Planet. The presentation features “Nikie” a golden retriever who was the only service dog credentialed by FEMA and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management to provide Canine Disaster Relief Services on World Trade Center, Ground Zero. Nikie was a celebrated dog. In December, 2001, State of New York Governor Pataki presented him with the highest award for his tireless work.

 Frank Shane & Chance

     Frank Shane & Chance

This holiday program was prepared for the 9/11 Tribute Center by K-9 Disaster Relief, a non-profit humanitarian organization. 

The interactive program for children and adults features personal stories along with rare archival photographs. According to Shane, “ I recently discovered thousands of digital photos taken on Ground Zero, including many with Nikie, workers, uniformed services and volunteers.” As a team, Shane and Nikie worked for nine months until the Last Steel Beam ceremony on May 28, 2002. In addition to the historical photographs, there were other important discoveries. He said, “Nikie received over 4,000 cards, letters and drawings from children all over the world.”

One was addressed to “Nikie Ground Zero” – – It was from a boy asking if Nikie could personally deliver his letter to the President.  (It was delivered to President Bush. On loan to K-9 Disaster Relief, it will be on display at the 9/11 Tribute Center for the December 30th presentation)  Many other artifacts will be at the presentation, including Nikie’s last Teddy Bear.

On Ground Zero there was a large respite facility nicknamed the Taj Mahal – ‘Taj” because it was so big. This respite was a safe haven where those coming off the 16-acre recovery site could clean up, get food and rest. As the holidays approached, there was a sense of despair. Many could not go home to see their families and children. Shane tells the story about a boy who met Nikie at a tree store in New Jersey. The young boy also wanted the same tree. Shane recalls, “The story has a wonderful ending – – Nikie got the tree for Taj, and the boy received a gift from Mayor Giuliani on Christmas morning.” Shane will start the program relating Nikie’s Thanksgiving escapade when he got into the Macy’s Parade.


The program on December 30th is free and open to the public. Children are welcome and can interact with Chance, who has been on Animal Planet. Each child will receive a “K-9 for Kids” pin. The 9/11 Tribute Center is located at 120 Liberty Street next to FDNY Ladder Company 10-10 and adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial. Reservations are suggested: rsvp@tributewtc.org. www.TributeWTC.org

About the 9/11 Tribute Center – A visitor center that opened in 2006 by the September 11th Families Association, a not-for-profit corporation. It offers visitors to the World Trade Center a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community: family members of lost loved ones, survivors, first responders and people who live and work in Lower Manhattan. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the 9/11 Tribute Center offers “Person to Person History,” linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate the historic events with those who experienced them. Visitors learn factual information about the events, the identity of 2,973 people killed in the attacks, the unprecedented rescue and recovery operations and the tremendous spirit of support and generosity that arose after the attacks. Learn more about 9/11 Tribute Center programs at www.tributewtc.org.
 About the K-9 Disaster Relief Organization – A non-profit humanitarian organization to help victims and children who are traumatized by disasters and critical incidents. This is achieved with handlers in Canine Disaster Relief Services and Critical Incident Stress Management. In addition to providing courses, community outreach, workshops and speaking appearances, the organization collaborates with schools, the National September 11 Memorial Museum and the 9/11 Tribute Center. www.K-9DisasterRelief.org @K9Foundation #K9DisasterRelief
About Frank T. Shane, B.C.E.T.S. – A pioneer in the field of Canine Disaster Relief Services and the Human-Animal-Bond. He is the founder and CEO of K-9 Disaster Relief, a non-profit humanitarian organization. He holds multi-level certifications, including, Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and Diplomat with the Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and The National Center for Crisis Management. He teaches courses nationally in Canine Disaster Relief Services, Critical Incident Stress Management, Human-Animal-Bond and the Psychology and Behavior of Dogs. He is available for courses, outreach programs, and personal appearances.  frankshane@K-9DisasterRelief.org
 About Canine Nikie – During the 9/11 rescue and recovery at World Trade Center – Ground Zero, Nikie, was the only credentialed dog certified in Canine Disaster Relief Services. This courageous canine worked tirelessly for nine months. He provided psychological support and crisis intervention with his handler, Frank Shane. He was featured on Animal Planets “Hero Dogs of 9/11” and several books and documentaries, including: “Hero Dogs – Courageous Canines in Action,” “9/11:Stories of Courage, Heroism and Generosity” and “9/11:Hero of a Different Breed.” Nikie’s artifacts are on display at the National September 11 Memorial Museum. www.K-9DisasterRelief.org @K9Foundation #K9DisasterRelief