Lassie, go get help! Timmy’s stuck in the rubble!

Most dog lovers know that their furry buddy will do just about anything for them. What is truly amazing is that there are dogs whose whole joy in life is finding and rescuing humans who are trapped in dangerous places. That’s the job of a disaster search dog.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is an American non-profit that adopts dogs that have been turned into shelters or abandoned, and trains them to be human search specialists. Once a dog has gone through rigorous training, it is assigned to a handler who will then take it out on assignment. Whenever a crisis response crew is deployed to a disaster, you can be sure they are bringing some highly trained search dogs with them.

If you are prepared for an earthquake, you won’t need these dogs, but they will guarantee you survive if you get stuck somewhere. A rescue from a canine professional will give you an amusing story as you recover.

I first learned about search dogs via a challenge thrown down by Charlie Annenberg at the South by Southwest technology conference.  The earthquake in Japan had just happened, and Charlie decided to challenge the room to do something immediately.  He set up the Dog Bless You Facebook page and promised to donate $100,000 if the page got to 100,000 likes.
National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a privately funded non-profit that pairs highly trained dogs with firefighters or other first responders.

Disaster search dogs like nothing better than to root through rubble and rescue people. Wherever there is an earthquake, you can count on disaster search dogs to comb the rubble with their trainers and get trapped people to safety. Hooray for disaster search dogs!They Live to Rescue

Photo: Howard Orr

By Elizabeth Rood