Golden Tracks K9
Our Golden Tracks Will Lead The Way
There are several levels of certification for K9 SAR teams and some of these involve a greater amount of time, training and financial investment.  The majority of K9 SAR handlers are self funded although they belong to a large team.  This being said, these teams must still depend upon the generosity of people like you and me to afford the costs of learning to save lives.
It goes without saying that a potential K9 SAR handler must be prepared to dedicate a great amount of time and effort into their own personal training in addition to the training of their K9.  They should enter into this field with the knowledge and understanding that emergencies and disasters (be they natural or man made) have no respect for personal time, family time, weekends or holidays.  These devoted K9 handlers (the majority of them volunteers) work under sometimes dangerous conditions and in environments that place them at great risk to themselves, their K9’s and their teammates. 

I found a beautiful and anonymous saying on the internet one day that really sums up my feelings about those that devote their time and funds to providing this most valuable service to their communities.  It reads, “Volunteers are not paid-not because they are worthless but because they are PRICELESS.”

The first featured article on my website was written by David Wyttenbach, President of Virginia Search and Rescue Dog Association in which he addresses the topic of the costs for training his own K9.  David’s K9 partner, “Hero”, was trained to be a wilderness “search air-scent” K9.  This means that Hero was trained to follow scents in the air to locate missing persons (as opposed to the methods of a “Tracking/Trailing” K9).  Together, David and Hero responded to 34 searches during his four years of certification.

In David’s article, he carefully documented the costs of training and certifying Hero for this particular K9 discipline. He has graciously permitted me to share his article on my page to help the public understand the costs associated with providing this valuable service to communities throughout the US and around the world.

In future articles, I will include definitions of other K9 disciplines to help educate the public about the many services that their local K9 teams provide to them.  I will also feature articles that answer questions such as “How do they do that?”.

Many volunteer K9 SAR teams hardly consider themselves as “professionals” despite placing their lives on hold to respond to “missing person” emergencies in the same manner that other “first responders” do.  These often humble and unsung “heroes” offer a time-proven method of locating your loved ones.  They selflessly pay the costs of ongoing training, certifications and equipment to provide this most valuable service to their communities.  In my eyes, these humble heroes are and will always be true “professionals”.   I believe that these K9 teams deserve our “long overdue” recognition, support and gratitude! 
A Word from the Author about K9 SAR Training and its Costs
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You can make a world of difference to K9 SAR teams all around the world by donating to our fundraiser campaign of which 10% will be forwarded to Crook County Search And Rescue K9 team.
Thank you for your generous support!
Last updated on 05/18/2015
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