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.

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.

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

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