Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the AKC has been committed to supporting and honoring the nation’s volunteer corps of search-and-rescue dogs and handlers.
In the wake of 9/11, the AKC and AKC Companion Animal Recovery created the Canine Support and Relief Fund. This year the fund has awarded $413,000 in grants, the majority of them to search-and-rescue teams. K-9 rescue volunteers, along with organization that support companion-animal relief during natural and civil disasters, have received a total of $4 million from the Fund since 2002.
“AKC CAR continues its commitment to supporting the lifesaving work of hundreds of search-and-rescue groups,” AKC CAR Chief Executive Officer Tom Sharp says. “Many of these organizations are staffed by K-9 handlers volunteering their time and expertise to help our local communities.”
The grants will help teams pay for radios, GPS equipment, and travel to disaster sites; heat-alert systems and temperature-sensor monitors; cooling vests, water-safety vests, and repelling harnesses; and training seminars and certifications.
“We thank these deserving organizations for their dedication and efforts, and are very proud that the Fund leads the charge in providing them with much needed funding,” Sharp says. See the complete roster
of AKC CAR grant recipients. New SAR Title
The AKC has announced the creation of a title to acknowledge the work of wilderness search-and-rescue dogs. The AKC already acknowledges dogs certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or State Urban Search and Rescue as urban search-and-rescue dogs.
The new title, Search and Rescue-Wilderness (SAR-W), acknowledges dogs who use air-scenting or tracking abilities to locate missing persons in a non-urban setting.
Within the field of wilderness search-and-rescue there are dogs who specialize in tracking, trailing, air-scent, and water and avalanche work.
“Search-and-rescue is a valuable, modern-day working activity for our dogs,” Vice President of Companion and Performance Events Doug Ljungren says. “At the time of greatest need, when we’re looking to find lost or trapped people, human remains, or help others during disasters, SAR dogs and their handlers are there to provide their assistance.”
To be eligible for the SAR-W title, a dog must have been deployed on at least five missions, certified by an AKC-recognized organization, and AKC-registered or enrolled in Canine Partners. The handler is required to submit the dog’s SAR certification document and documentation verifying the dog’s deployments.
Ljungren says, “The AKC is proud to acknowledge skill and service of these dogs by offering the new SAR-W title to add to their AKC record.”
Application form for the SAR-W titles are available here
. If you would like more information or have a question about SAR-W, contact Lisa Carroll (919-816-3900; email@example.com