Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jessie, a Tampa search and rescue dog that worked in World Trade Center ruins, has died

Tampa Fire Rescue Lt. Roger Picard and rescue dog Jessie pause while searching buildings ruined in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York. Jessie, a yellow Lab, was 13 when she died of an illness Sunday.

Tampa Fire Rescue

Tampa Fire Rescue Lt. Roger Picard and rescue dog Jessie pause while searching buildings ruined in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York. Jessie, a yellow Lab, was 13 when she died of an illness Sunday.

TAMPA — Three years after retiring, Jessie, a search and rescue dog that sniffed for signs of life in the rubble of the World Trade Center, has died.

She had been living with an adopted family, Al and Sandy Tupper, when she succumbed to illness Sunday night, Tampa Fire Rescue officials confirmed in a Tuesday news release.

The 13-year-old yellow Labrador retriever joined Fire Rescue as a partner to Lt. Roger Picard, who helped her achieve the highest levels of search and rescue certification with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jessie and Picard became members of the Florida Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 2 and the FEMA canine team in May 2001. Their first deployment was to the World Trade Center in New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks.

After that, she went from one disaster to another, aiding in the search for survivors and remains. Jessie was deployed to Punta Gorda after Hurricane Charley in 2004, and Biloxi, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"She was a great search dog and taught me to be a better handler. After years of work in areas too dangerous for human rescuers, she went into a well-deserved retirement," Picard said in a statement.

He lauded her adoptive family, the Tuppers, for the love they gave the aging dog. "Jessie provided them with companionship and laughter," he said.

Jessie, a Tampa search and rescue dog that worked in World Trade Center ruins, has died 07/14/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 11:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. College World Series title puts Florida Gators in elite company

    College

    The Florida Gators put themselves in rare company with Tuesday night's College World Series national championship victory.

    Florida ace and Tampa native Alex Faedo (21) lets loose with his teammates after they win the Gators’ first baseball national title.