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.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: The Peacefulness Was Interrupted

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

Sound off in our comments section below…

(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (24)
  1. Amy Lamborn says:

    Horrifying and upsetting to know that someone would go out of their way to destroy such a beautiful thing, such a beautiful tribute…are they completely soulless?

  2. 1608 says:

    Who done it?

    It must have been that illegal next door.

    Just ask twoshotsandasplash and gregory.

  3. Harold Margulies says:

    It’s important to catch the vandals to see their motivation . Security cameras is a good idea.

  4. Sal says:

    These statues cost tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and even more money to maintain.
    You mean to tell me the city can’t take out an insurance policy on them instead of asking for replacement money?
    I would call that stupidity.

  5. Dr Jerry Fox says:

    This creature was God’s gift to help protect us. Doing this is the equivalent of writing “FU” on a statue of the Virgin Mary. Please send me the increase in my tax bill to pay whatever it takes to put these satanic perverts away for eternity.

  6. John Ash says:

    There is no excuse for this. Perhaps the idiots who did this will need the efforts of of a rescue dog to save their lives one day. Hopefully no dog will be available any their pathetic little lifes will tick away………..

  7. liz says:

    It is truly DISGUSTING! Such a LACK of intelligence!!!!! When they find the clowns that did this, PUNISH them by making them spend some time in the MORGUE!!!

  8. Kevin says:

    these are the type of idiots who abuse animals as well…the police will catch them

  9. nyc says:

    Now that our middle class is gone, we now have the rich ,honest people trying to get by ,and animals ! Our streets have become full of violent, ignorant young people that have no respect for anything ! Sad times.

  10. Jeff says:

    If I were a Search Dog looking for the Perps family, friends, or himself/herself I would “down-platz” on strike !

  11. VugVee says:

    OMG whats the big deal, jsut get another one.

    1. Rugbyball says:

      They will, but someone has to pay for it, care to donate to the cause?
      Also, doesn’t take from the fact some one committed a crime of vandalism.

  12. iamhere says:

    No it was Dominic Barbara sleep walking to the nearest food bank

  13. NJ Resident says:

    Such a shame at what people who have no feelings or nothing better to do with their time then to vandalize a memorial for a hero that we don’t appreciate as much as we should.

  14. M .J. Leclerc says:

    The way Hansen looks now after this stupid attack is the
    way many of our service members look after a bomb went off.
    The dog looks like he has artificial limbs now. He is now a wounded vet.
    I would think this was bored teens doing this and they will
    rat out each other by Tuesday.

    1. Reuven Kerner says:

      nice…by what time on tuesday?

  15. chris close says:

    i hope they find these people who done it and hold them to account and make them either do time in jail or pay for it to be replaced cause these people are the lowest of lows this dog is a hero in his own right

  16. JOE says:

    Just a bunch of S.O.B. YOU KNOW, have no respect for anything. What a shame.

  17. Gregory says:

    If and when these criminals are caught, I hope they resist arrest and receive a good old fashioned beat-down as a result. Next check their citizenship status; if they are illegal aliens deport them and their families. Also, consider that making an example of these fools might serve as a warning to the seemingly endless supply of similar fools.

    1. JOE says:

      Sounds good to me.

  18. Walter Peters says:

    Lol so true,those firefighter people get so upset when it’s not about them

  19. Anonymous says:

    Raise enough money to install security cameras too.

  20. stephi says:

    Most likley it was kids. They have too much time on their hands. If it was kids, let the families pay for a new one and jail time.

    1. YOYO MAS says:


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