Volume 18 • Issue 6 | July 1-7, 2005

Artist Debbie Stonebraker’s portrait of Sirius, a Port Authority bomb-sniffing dog killed in the World Trade Center. The new Battery Park City dog run will be named after him.
Dog run to be named for canine killed on 9/11

By Ronda Kaysen

Sirius, a yellow Labrador retriever who died in the World Trade Center disaster will soon have a dog run named in his honor.

The new dog run at Kowsky Plaza in Battery Park City will be named after Sirius this fall, commemorating the 95-pound canine, the only police dog to die in the disaster.

“I don’t even know where [the dog run] is. Wherever it is I’m incredibly honored,” said his partner, Port Authority Police Sergeant David Lim, in a telephone interview. In June, the Battery Park City Authority board voted to name the run near Liberty St. after Sirius.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the Explosive Detector Team for the World Trade Center – consisting of Lim and Sirius – were in their South Tower basement office when the first plane struck the North Tower. Officer Lim put his 4-year-old partner in his kennel and headed off to the damaged tower to help

“I told him, ‘I think we’re in a lot of trouble right now,’” said Lim, who assumed he and Sirius had somehow failed to detect an explosive. “I said, ‘I’ll be back for you.’”

But before Lim could return, the events of the day unfolded, the South Tower collapsed followed by the North Tower, burying Lim on the fourth floor with six firefighters and an injured woman. The people were all safely rescued five hours later.

Lim did come back for Sirius eventually – on Jan. 22, 2002 when his remains were uncovered still in his kennel.

“I was very fortunate; so many people didn’t find anybody,” said Lim, adding that Sirius was treated with the same respect as all the other victims recovered. “They treated him like everybody else — bestowing the honors. I always appreciated that.”

At his memorial service the following April at Liberty State Park, 400 people attended including 100 K-9 teams from across the country.

“Sirius has his own following,” said Lim. The dog has a memorial in his honor in Canada, a painting by dog portrait artist Debbie Stonebraker and numerous Web sites commemorating him.

Sirius was not your typical bomb dog. “He was a big mush. You thought he was a lap dog, even though he was almost 100 lbs.,” remembered Lim. “He was very methodical… It was very cute watching him work.”

Lim’s new partner Sprig, a nimble black Labrador, retired recently when Lim was promoted to sergeant. “He’s got the easy life, he hangs out in the back yard… he’s digging holes in my back yard because he’s so bored.”

Would Sirius have enjoyed frolicking in the new dog run? “Police dogs can’t go to dog runs. If they bite another dog or get bit, they’re in a lot of trouble,” explained Lim. “Then again, he wouldn’t have had a dog run named after him, either.”

Ronda@DowntownExpress.com

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