As of July 1, SDF is thrilled to share that we have an incredible 20 Search Dog Recruits currently in training at our National Training Center! See the full PDF of our newest Recruits here!
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of many over the last few decades, including our Founder Wilma Melville, shelter and rescue dogs are no longer considered castaways. It took some time, but they have earned a well-deserved reputation as potentially valuable lifesaving resources in Disaster Search work!
Often the dogs that end up in shelters have exactly the characteristics sought after in this field: high drive, toy obsession, and athleticism that has them jumping fences. In recent years, it has become so popular for agencies to adopt shelter dogs with potential to work in certain fields that they have become harder to find.
So SDF had to reassess our process and evolve again.
Keeping our main focus on giving shelter and rescue dogs a new “leash on life,” SDF has developed a network of Regional Canine Recruiters across the nation. These are canine savvy and working dog knowledgeable individuals willing to scour every available resource for canines that have all the right stuff to be a success in Disaster Search.
And the process is working! We have been able to maintain our high standards and are bringing more dogs into the program than we have in years.
Over the last year, Canine Recruitment Manager Sylvia Stoney and her team have been making calls, sending emails and most importantly, visiting shelters throughout the country to not only look for potential candidates, but to build relationships and help shelters and rescues find careers for those hard-to-place or “unadoptable” dogs. As of July 1, we are officially 2/3 of the way to our goal of recruiting 30 special dogs who have what it takes to enter our training program at the NTC, which is something that many thought couldn’t be done.
Beginning this summer, you will start seeing these dogs graduating from our training program and being paired with first responders on U.S. task forces. These incredible creatures are receiving top-notch training at SDF.
While not every dog will successfully complete training, we are proud to share with complete confidence that no dog that enters our program will ever go back into the shelter system thanks to our Lifetime Care program – once rescued, they will never need to be rescued again.
As for those Recruits that do complete our program, they will leave our National Training Center with new human partners and all our confidence that when the call comes, these Search Teams have what it takes to save lives in their communities and around the world!
In the meantime, SDF staff and our army of Recruiters will continue to do all we can to recruit, train, and partner Search Dogs in order to meet the huge demand for this precious lifesaving resource!