K-9 handler recalls 4-legged hero at Ground Zero

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HAWTHORNE -

A K-9 handler from the Hudson Valley is remembering one of the four-legged heroes who helped at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Mitch Serlin and his four-legged partner, Winnie, braved the aftermath of 9/11 to help find remains of people who perished in the attacks.

Serlin says dogs have the ability to find minute odors and identify them, but Winnie struggled with some of the decomposition scent and the bodies.

The experience was so challenging that Winnie couldn't trust Mitch again. The Labrador was transferred into a new unit, and the bond with Serlin was broken.

“We did what we had to do and were called to do a job - you do it, and unfortunately, it just had a bad response to her,” he says.

Winnie passed away after being diagnosed with cancer. A majority of the K-9s from 9/11 have passed away, but there's a new generation training in Westchester to prepare for anything in the future. Serlin continues to train K-9s throughout the Hudson Valley, so that, like Winnie, they're ready for a call to duty.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SEPT. 11 REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY IN MANHATTAN

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