Victor, Paul, Koda, & Sonny – Search dogs at @searchdogfoundation, Santa Paula, CA • “They’re trained to find people trapped alive in the wreckage following disasters – earthquakes, building collapse, mudslides, etc. The program was developed after the the Oklahoma City bombing due to a severe shortage of Canine Disaster Search Teams in the country. SDF gained recognition after the World Trade Center disaster, when 13 SDF teams were deployed to search the rubble of Ground Zero.” - “They’re trained on live find versus HRD (Human Remains Detection) – they locate and indicate with a bark alert on inaccessible live human scent. They’re ‘air scenters’ (not tracking dogs) and have a remarkable sense of smell. When a person walks into a building, they can tell that someone is cooking soup – the dog can tell which ingredients are in the soup. We teach them bark equals toy. They think the person hiding has their toy, so they bark at them until they give them their toy. A majority of our dogs are from shelters and often were on the euthanasia list – Labs, Shepherds, Malinois, Pointers, Border Collies – rescue dogs that have high drive, are fearless, and bold. If you leave them in the house they’ll be an interior decorator or a landscape architect. Even if they don’t make it through our program, they’ll never end up in a shelter again. The Haiti Task Force helped bring 13 people to safety, but it’s not usually some ‘Hollywood hero ending’, it’s about knowing that nobody is left behind alive. It helps people’s families with closure. It also brings a morale boost to the crews themselves. They do a lot more than just search.” Follow the link in our bio to learn more and watch a video of them working.