Remembering Ground Zero Therapy Golden Retriever Cody


This photo shows Suffolk County SPCA Mascot Cody with his human companion, SPCA Chief Roy Gross at Ground Zero. Cody left his side two weeks ago, 12-years-old at the time. But, it was comforting to hear that a day before his death, he joyfully rode in the hutch on his dad’s Harley to the beach, played some ball, and took a fun swim.

We have a special page at the foundation site that celebrates the efforts of those Therapy Goldens at Ground Zero.

It was nice to see in this article that they contacted Dan Donadio, as he was so critical to the canine efforts at Ground Zero. Dan and I continue to stay in contact with each other as he provided me with such critical information about the true heroes on the pile.

Ground Zero therapy dog has died

For two months after the Sept. 11 attacks, forlorn rescue workers could find an unswerving friend near the smoldering ruins of Ground Zero. Cody asked no questions. Instead, he wagged his tail and gave his paw to people seeking some warmth.”What Cody did at Ground Zero was remarkable,” said Roy Gross, his owner and chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Workers couldn’t speak from the anguish. They would drop to their knees, start petting him and cry. Cody knew he had a job to do.”

After Sept. 11, the county SPCA dispatched its mobile animal hospital to tend to the search and rescue dogs that labored over the pile of debris. But Cody had a different mission: comforting afflicted police officers, firefighters and onlookers in the turbulent days that followed.Daniel Donadio, commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s canine unit at the time of the attacks, said the hospital helped sustain his unit’s 34 dogs and the officers who partnered with them as they searched the rubble for human remains. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said. “Those animals had a soothing effect on people — just to interact with the dogs and be comforted by them.”

Those wishing to make donations to the Cody Foundation should contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722.


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