King County Search Dogs
Lost and FOUND!
KCSD finds and aids people in distress. We provide critical help in rugged forests, busy residential and commercial neighborhoods and natural disasters. Our volunteers have been on call 24/7, 365 days a year for over 20 years to find missing persons such as hikers or Alzheimers patients. Dogs undergo years of training to rigorous national standards in airscent, trailing, avalanche, disaster, and cadaver work. KCSD also works to promote personal safety in the wilderness.
PO Box 50643
Bellevue, WA 98015
King County Search Dogs has responded to over 900 missions since its formation 20 years ago. Well-trained search dogs save lives by finding people in distress: KCSD dogs can reliably follow the day-old trail of a specific missing person for miles even in busy urban environments and are able to locate lost or injured hikers in large areas of rugged northwest forest. King County Search Dogs have been a critical resource in local natural disaster responses such as the 2014 Oso mudslide and specially-trained KCSD dogs assist law enforcement investigations and help to bring closure in wilderness recovery operations.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
KCSD is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit that depends on the community it serves for essential radio/GPS equipment, training resources and search & rescue gear. Public support is vital for KCSD. PLEASE consider helping the dog teams that work hard to help you.
While we depend on financial contributions for our operations, The most important thing you can do to help King County Search Dogs is to stay safe. We would rather bump into you while we are training than find you as the subject of a search mission. Whenever you go outside to enjoy the wonderful pacific northwest wilderness; 1) Let someone know where you are going and when you will return; 2) Have a plan for where you are going and be prepared with the ten essentials; 3) It is always better to hike with friends and if there is a problem: Stay Together and Stay Put! It is safer and easier to find people if they stay in one place.
King County Search Dogs train to a professional, national certification standard. This requires hundreds of hours annually by each member and totaled 5026 hours for the unit in 2016! It takes eighteen months or more of training several times a week to develop an effective airscent or trailing dog. Continued training is then required to pass periodic re-certification tests. In order to comply with the demanding core competency standards of the King County Search and Rescue Association, KCSD handlers and support personnel also undergo extensive training and testing in areas such as wilderness navigation, search & rescue techniques, radio communication, crime scene management, helicopter safety and searcher survival.
KCSD Members are all dedicated volunteers from the Seattle metropolitan area (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) who donate their time on search missions, training and education sessions as well as providing much of their own equipment. Some members have been engaged in search and rescue work for over twenty years! KCSD volunteers and their dogs are certified in two main types of search activity; airscent (looking for any human in a wilderness or park environment) and trailing (looking for a specific human by following a search subject's unique smells). Some KCSD teams have additional specialty search & rescue certifications for avalanche, disaster, water and human remains detection work. Many KCSD members are respected search dog experts who in turn teach throughout the northwest and around the world. KCSD also has an active outreach program to promote personal safety in the wilderness and raise awareness of our activities. KCSD members and their dogs visit companies, schools, camps and other groups around King County to provide informative and entertaining talks and demonstrations.
You can learn more about KCSD on its website (KCSearchdogs.org) or Facebook page (@kcsearchdogs) and you can follow us on Instagram (instagram.com/KCSearchdogs) and Twitter (twitter.com/KCSearchdogs).