Canines have been utilized in Search and Rescue (SAR) for decades. CoCoSAR’s Canine Resource teams have assisted on missions to locate lost and abducted children; missing adults; Alzheimer’s walkaways; deceased persons (including victims of mudslides, earthquake, flood, explosion, fire, train wrecks and vehicle crashes); and criminal evidence. The canines’ physical endurance and their keen senses makes these four-legged searchers an invaluable resource.
One trained search dog can be as effective as several human searchers. A search dog and its handler work as a team. The dog provides the nose and its human partner gives the tactical guidance. Canines can search large areas more quickly than most human ground teams or provide valuable clues about the missing subject’s direction of travel, helping us direct our human searchers. Because time is a critical factor in a search, every piece of information increases the likelihood the missing person will be found alive and well.
Training, certification and working a SAR Canine isn’t for everyone. It requires a great deal of personal training time plus financial expense to equip you and your dog. Once a canine team is certified as “mission ready”, calls will come frequently, often at the most inconvenient times. Canine Resource members are CoCoSAR team members first and are expected to participate in the full program in addition to their work as dog handlers. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.