Hilary Swank is looking back at the time when she helped rescue beloved pets amid the aftermath of 9/11.

The Oscar-winning actress, who has been open about her love of animals, recently recalled that she volunteered with the ASPCA during the 2001 tragedy.

“People would go over to the piers over on West Street, and they would say, ‘My dog ​​Simpson, or my goldfish or my rabbit,’ or whatever it is, and they’d say, ‘This is my address, this is my apartment,’ and I’d get these cards and we’d go down,” Swank said during an appearance on SiriusXM’s Literally! With Rob Lowe podcasts.

The Million Dollar Baby star told Lowe that while there were many challenges and obstacles, including no working elevators, no technology and building stability risks, that didn’t stop them from saving these animals.

“If their animal was on the 50th floor, you were walking up to the 50th floor,” she said. “And we’d get up there and we brought cats down, we brought turtles down, we brought fish down, we brought lots of dogs. I think a couple of hamsters.”

Swank added, “But I mean, these apartment buildings, they were missing windows, and the trauma that these animals went through living there for, you know, some a few days and some a few weeks.”

The host also brought up a particular 9/11 rescue story that Swank previously shared with him regarding a “terrified” cat.

“It was going crazy,” the Ordinary Angels actress said. “It was missing its person. Who knows how long it didn’t have food? The front windows were blown out. It was smoky. It was dirty. It was dangerous. .. It kept getting out of a blanket, so we finally figured out how to put it in a pillowcase, knew it could still breathe through it, got them back to their owners.”

Swank noted that she had volunteered at the ASPCA before 9/11 but helping to reconnect these pets with their families will always hold a special place in her heart.

“Reuniting these animals with their owners was such a gift,” he added. “They were just so happy.”

By fersz