The lesser known of New York's canine heroes, comfort dogs, such as this golden retriever, help soothe those affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Similar to search-and-rescue dogs, comfort dogs travel to disaster scenes to aid relief efforts. Studies show that people experience physiological changes—such as a drop in heart rate and blood pressure—when they pet animals.
(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Zip USA: 10013—After the Fall," September 2002, National Geographic magazine)
Photograph by Ira Block