Guide dog who saved owner during 9/11 attack wins posthumous award

A labrador who saved its blind owner during to 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers has been posthumously honoured as American Hero Dog of the Year.

Michael Hingson was sat at his desk in his place of work on the morning of September 11th on the 78th floor of the north World Trade Centre tower when American Airlines flight 11 devastated the building 18 levels above him. Unlike many unfortunate victims, Mr Hingson lived to tell his tale thanks to Roselle, his guide dog.

Cool as a cucumber, the labrador led Mr Hingson, who is blind, down 1,463 steps to exit the building, before guiding him to safety in a nearby subway station whilst the south tower fell to the ground nearby.

Sadly, Roselle, who was 13, passed away in June, but she took the biggest share of over 400,000 voes cast on the website for the American Humane Association (AHA).

In support of her bravery, Mr Hingson wrote on the website:

“While everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job.”

“While debris fell around us, and even hit us, Roselle stayed calm.”

Mr Hingson attended the award ceremony in Los Angeles along with the other seven finalists and a gaggle of celebrities, including Mark Hamill, Betty white and Whoopi Goldberg.

After the winner was announced, President of the AHA said:

“Every day, across America, dogs protect, comfort, and give their unconditional friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran, and the frightened child.”

“It was time to recognize the contributions of man’s best friends and celebrate the heroic feats they have performed for us every day.”