Missing girl in Albany, New York

Kura Finds Missing Girl in Albany, NY

1_2-kura-albanyby FirefighterGreg Gould, NY State Office of Fire Prevention and Control

On April 23, 2009 at 6:30 p.m., SDF’s New York Search Teams were called out by East Glenville Fire Chief Scott Pike to search for a missing 15-year old girl in East Glenville. Jason Geary & Marsi, Search Team Manager Tony Santulli, Tom Howard (NY Task Force 2 Search Team Coordinator) & Kura and I responded to the call. The girl, who has Asperger's Syndrome (a kind of autism) had been missing since 4:00 p.m. Her parents told police she likes to climb things, likes to hide, and is very knowledgeable about the woods. We were each given maps and Tony gave us each an area to search. Marsi, Jason, Kura and I were on our way, combing a large section of the woods. After this initial search yielded no sign of the girl, we regrouped, watered, and rested. Tony checked the map and gave us new areas to search.

Kura and I were assigned the Old Oak School, where the girl had been a student. We were met by a group of firefighters who advised us that the area had already been searched by other canines, with no results. Tony decided we should search again to make sure, and I sent Kura on her way. Before long I heard her barking upstairs. I knew she had found someone. We went upstairs and confirmed it was the girl we were looking for, hidden deep in a closet where no one would have found her. By 10:23 p.m. the search was over.

I cannot describe the feelings of satisfaction and pride I experienced. I am so proud of Kura! All those hours of training had paid off. The young girl was safe and was on her way home to her family. This was a huge team effort. Kura may have been the one to bark, but she was barking for all of us. Our New York Training Group has worked tirelessly for this moment, and I thank them so much. Rescues like this don’t happen without everyone's support. What a great feeling!