California mudslides wreak havoc in the wake of fires

December 26, 2003

A few days before Christmas, SDF teams were deployed to the Waterman Canyon wilderness near San Bernardino, California. This was a site where devastating fires increased vulnerability for flooding and mudslides. The teams included: Carrie Henger & Doc (L.A. County Fire), Russell Tao & Harry (Montebello Fire), and John Thomas & Mocha (Murietta Fire).

“You work your dog and learn how he reacts to certain scents,” Russell said. “You read his body language. Harry showed interest and the excavators confirmed someone was there. You have mixed feelings. It’s good to know the training works but disheartening when you discover the worst. When you’re there, you don’t have time to think about the anxiety. I felt prepared and confident that Harry would perform. The Foundation’s training paid off. This was an awesome experience I’ll never forget.”