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Police Search For Vandals After Damage To 9/11 Rescue Dogs Statue

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A statue of Hansen is seen after it was vandalized in Lindenhurst (credit: Steve Smaldon)

A statue of Hansen is seen after it was vandalized in Lindenhurst (credit: Steve Smaldon)

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LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police on Long Island were hunting for vandals who knocked over a 300-pound monument dedicated to 9/11 rescue dogs.

The cement statue in Lindenhurst is modeled after Hansen, a German shepherd who spent 150 days searching through the rubble of Ground Zero.

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Retired NYPD officer Steve Smaldon, who was Hansen’s handler, said he is perplexed by the damage. He said it’s like going into a cemetery and knocking over gravestones.

hansen Police Search For Vandals After Damage To 9/11 Rescue Dogs Statue

The statue of Hansen before it was vandalized (credit: Steve Smaldon)

Police weren’t sure if the statue was targeted or just the subject of random vandalism but Smaldon thinks it was intentional.

“A garbage can was used to get over the fence, because it’s locked up at night, and they went over and that’s the only thing that was touched, they spent their time to smash it into many pieces,” Smaldon told 1010 WINS. “I can’t believe that somebody would not respect 9/11 and not understand 9/11 and do something like that.”

Smaldon said the statue is “totally unrepairable” and will try to raise money to build a new one.

Hansen died in 2004 at age 11.

In addition to the statue, the park has plaques dedicated to eight Lindenhurst residents who died in the 9/11 attacks.

me han wtc Police Search For Vandals After Damage To 9/11 Rescue Dogs Statue

Steve Smaldon with rescue dog Hansen at ground zero (credit: Steve Smaldon)

 If you’re interested in the effort to rebuild the statue you can e-mail Smaldon at nyhansenpdk9@aol.com.

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(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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