National Testing Certifies SAR K9 Handlers
Members of the Mid-South Search & Rescue Dog Association (MSSARDA), a North Mississippi-based non-profit organization, earned additional certifications with their canine partners during evaluations held October 17 and 18 in Marshall County.
Congratulations MSSARDA Teams
Congratulations go to MSSARDA teams that passed their evaluations: in trailing (Lisa Hiatt & K9 Ember); human remains detection (HRD) (Eugene Smith & K9 Elke); and wilderness area search (Ginny Hull Bell & K9 Mojo, and Judy Otto & K9 Val).
The teams expressed thanks to all who sponsored and supported the certification weekend effort, including the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, private property owners in Marshall County, and the National Association for Search and Rescue and their participating evaluators.
Hiatt and K9 Ember, a bloodhound, successfully advanced their previous certification level by following a 12-hour-aged wilderness trail over varied terrain, with multiple turns, over a distance of 1¼ mile. The trail’s starting point and direction of travel were unknown to the handler, and had to be located and identified by the team.
Bell and FEMA-certified K9 Mojo; and Otto and K9 Val, both re-certified in Area Search—locating a hidden subject in a 40-acre wilder-ness sector, each utilizing less than half of the time allowed for the test.
Smith and K9 Elke identified HRD test materials that were concealed in 3 of 4 test areas, at raised, buried, and ground level, also successfully identifying a 4th ‘blank’ area, where no material was present.
To learn more, or to volunteer to assist MSSARDA as a helper at local field training opportunities, contact Training Director Judy Otto at 662-252-1004.