Ground Zero Red Jeep Rescue “K-9 for Kids” ~ 9/11 Memorial Museum

10-10 bat chief werner
 K-9 Nikie – Michele Kidd – FDNY Battalion Chief Werner
Fire Company Ladder 10-10 – Ground Zero


Heart Pin presented to Battalion Chief Werner by Michele . . .


“I was overcome by what had happened on September 11th and wanted to help in some way. These heart pins are a symbol of my love to you, our country and those that lost their lives. Every pin is handmade.  Each is a token of love sent from the hearts of thousands of kids like me . . . all across America. I feel like this tragic time has brought us closer together. Thanks for helping me.”


In 2001, twelve-year-old Michele Kidd organized a grassroots crusade. It encouraged kids across America to demonstrate their gratitude to those on Ground Zero by creating a handmade heart pin with a ribbon. The story received local newspaper coverage in her Midwestern community. Within days, her pins with red, white and blue ribbon became a national symbol of unity.


Sierra Exif JPEG
National Symbol of Unity
Katie – West Virginia Firehouse
Handmade Heart Pins

Soon, Michele received thousands of pins from children across America. Thanks to the generosity of an airline and shipping company, Michele and her mother came to New York in hopes of giving  the heart pins on Ground Zero.


 Nikie ~ West Street
Ground Zero


Unfortunately, Michele could not get access to Ground Zero due to security, logistics, credentials and safety concerns. Michele was devastated that her wish would not be fulfilled. Heartbroken, she thought that boxes of thousands of pins would be left on the street.


9/11 Firefighter Memorial ~ Ground Zero



Frank Shane, Executive Director of K-9 Disaster Relief, was to meet Cynthia Otto, DVM on 14th Street, north of Ground Zero. Nikie, a 120-pound golden retriever, worked on Ground Zero as part of Canine Disaster Relief Services. He was in his red Jeep waiting for her to arrive. Dr. Otto began monitoring the health and behavior of Urban Search and Rescue canines and Nikie in October 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.


Vet 2

Medical Evaluation
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine

Unforeseen circumstances delayed Dr. Otto from coming to the designated location. Standing on the sidewalk with her mother, Michele needed a miracle. She soon learned that her impossible journey to Ground Zero would be riding with a dog in a red Jeep.


Nikie’s Red CJ-7 1986 Jeep
[The Jeep has been preserved as it was on Ground Zero]


The remarkable story of Michele and how she was able to give out thousands of heart pins on Ground Zero is part of the National September 11 Memorial Museum programs for younger visitors. The Drop-in-Art Activities are currently offered in the Museum every Saturday, with Special programs, such as “K-9 for Kids,” is on the first Saturday. Frank Shane, Executive Director of K-9 Disaster Relief, and his canine partner “Chance,” presents the program, which includes a video. Frank Shane is Executive Director of K-9 Disaster Relief. Chance is his 4-year-old disaster relief canine who interacts with the children. Each child receives a special K-9 for Kids pin.


Sierra Exif JPEG
 Jeffery, son of a firefighter
He proudly wears his K-9 for Kids Pin
FEMA: Project Recovery – TN

The K-9 for Kids outreach program of K-9 Disaster Relief was started to honor Michele and her humanitarian act of kindness. K-9 Disaster Relief created special pins for the “K-9 for Kids” outreach program. During the past 14-years, thousands of pins have been given to children doing #K9ActsOfKindness and humanitarian projects. Each child attending the Museum program receives a pin to inspire them to fulfill Michele’s dream of helping others.

Special K-9 for Kids pins were designed and have given out to children affected by hundreds of disasters. Children help others in need and perform acts of kindness to make the world a better place. Since 2001, thousands of children across the United States and many countries are reaching out to help others through the K-9 for Kids Outreach Program #K9ActsOfKindness.




About the K-9 Disaster Relief Organization:
 A non-profit humanitarian organization to help traumatized victims and children of disasters and critical incidents through Canine Disaster Relief Services. In addition to providing courses, community outreach, workshops and speaking appearances, the organization is collaborating with the National September 11 Memorial Museum through its innovative Youth and Families programs designed for children, parents and caregivers.
#K9Disasterrelief  #K9ActsOfKindness

About Frank T. Shane, B.C.E.T.S:  A pioneer in the field of the utilization of handlers trained in Canine Disaster Relief Services He is the founder and Executive Director of K-9 Disaster Relief, a non-profit humanitarian organization. He is a board certified trauma counselor and Diplomat and Fellow of the Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Frank Shane teaches courses in Canine Disaster Relief Services, the Human-Animal-Bond and the Psychology and Behavior of Dogs.

About Chance: He is a certified in Canine Disaster Relief Services. He is a 4 years old cream retriever with thousands of hours of advanced trainings under the protocol of K-9 Disaster Relief Services. His first assignment was on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Chance participates in K-9 Outreach Programs, including the National September 11 Memorial Museum. His innate skills enable him to work with special populations, especially children. Chance has been featured on Animal Planet and Hero of a Different Breed.

About National September 11 Memorial Museum: It is the principal Memorial and Museum, respectively, commemorating the September 11 attacks of 2001, which killed 2,977 people, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The Memorial Museum is located at the World Trade Center site on the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the attacks. It is operated by a non-profit corporation, headed by Joe Daniels, with the mission to raise funds for program, own and operate the Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. The National September 11 Memorial Museum offers programs for younger visitors. Drop-in art activities are currently offered every Saturday, while special programming is offered monthly.

 About Cindy Otto D.V.M. Is a member of the Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 from 1994 to 2010, began monitoring the health and behavior of Urban Search and Rescue canines in October of 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. This work inspired her to establish the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. She has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals, authored over 10 book chapters and lectured nationally and internationally on Emergency Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Working Dogs. Her research program has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery, Morris Animal Foundation and other foundations.

Photo Credits and Intellectual Property:
Article Source: K-9 Disaster Relief, Inc.

™K-9 Disaster Relief  ™K9 for Kids ™#K9Outreach ™#K9ActsOfKindness ™#K9Photos
Photos: © K-9 Disaster Relief Archives/FEMA Project Liberty/FEMA Project Recovery 2001 – 2015.
All Rights Reserved