All Mission-Ready K-9 Teams have met the requirements and been certified through evaluations and testing conducted by the National Association for Search & Rescue (NASAR). Each K-9 handler is certified as a NASAR SAR Tech II before certifying with his/her dog as a mission-ready team in their specialized discipline. We do not self-certify.
MSSARDA has qualified, experienced, mission-ready dogs in each of these specialized areas (also called disciplines):
- Mantrailing: Four certified teams; one team in training, nearing certification
- Wilderness Area Search (Air Scenting): Three certified teams, two teams in training, nearing certification
- Human Remains Detection (Land): Three certified teams, two teams in training, nearing certification
- Water Recovery: Two teams in training, nearing certification
- Evidence Recovery: One certified team, one team in training, nearing certification
All K-9 handlers begin their careers as flankers, learning the trade from a position where they learn to develop and use their own human skills while also learning handler skills from the experienced K-9 teams they support.