I have been a SAR Tech in a volunteer organization for about 15 years, but I was away from it for the last five or six years because of other issues. I have been on some heart wrenching missions including the Swiss Air Disaster in Peggy’s Cove back in 1999. This past weekend took me out of my retirement when a 7 year old Autistic boy went missing, Story here…
And unfortunately here,
I spent 19 hours straight in the woods and the whole time I kept thinking back 12 years when I wanted to get a properly trained trailing dog. We have always used the Police K-9 dogs but they are not specifically trained as trailing dogs, they are more of a tracking dog and are also multi tasked for other missions such as bringing down criminals. I will have to think long and hard before bringing a working dog into my family, but I thought this would be a good place to see if anyone had any info. We generally search in wildrness areas, mostly for lost hunters, in thick brush. They usually have a few hours lead on us by the time someone realises they are missing and I think that is why the police dogs have difficulty in finding them. The 2 hour lead time is what also made me think that this particular mission may have had a different outcome if we had access to a trailing dog, by the time the K-9 unit got there the area was very contaminated by people looking for the young boy, where a scent trailing dog could work beyond all the different scents and concentrate on the one we wanted.
Any info or experiences would be appreciated.