October Chairman's Report
- Search and Rescue Organizations Use AKC CAR Grants to Make a Difference -
AKC Companion Animal Recovery (AKC CAR) recently awarded $340,000 to organizations in 36 states through its Canine Support and Relief Fund. A majority of the more than 100 grants were earmarked for K-9 Search and Rescue (SAR) teams. I'm pleased to share with you the activities of several of these groups:
Connecticut Canine Search & Rescue (CCSAR) has used the AKC CAR grant to enrich its Alzheimer's Initiative. The grant has allowed the organization's members to experience a specialty Alzheimer's search train-the-trainer seminar with expert Robert Koester of Virginia, and a tracking seminar by Chris Weeks. As part of its Alzheimer's Initiative, CCSAR has performed demonstrations for staff at a facility for Alzheimer's patients and provided information to police departments in North Central Connecticut on conducting a search for a missing patient.
Emergency K-9 Operations, Inc. Search and Rescue now has the opportunity to send its K-9s "Hawk" and "Strider" to the Texas Engineering Extension Service's Disaster Training in Texas this December. The courses include Passenger Rail Rescue and Disaster City®, where search and rescue dogs and handlers can train in simulated disaster situations.
Jefferson County Search Dog Association (JCSDA) in Louisville, KY area is using the AKC CAR funds in many different areas – public education, training for K-9 and handlers and to improve operations in the field.
The education program is geared primarily toward kids. JCSDA distributes patches, activity books and safety tubes through the "Hunter" (their SAR dog mascot) program. "Hunter's" website gets hundreds of worldwide hits a day from kids looking to learn more about search and rescue dogs.
The grant has also allowed the association's K-9s and handlers to receive advanced medical training. In the past, JCSDA has hosted many classes for its members and other nearby agencies on scent work, K-9 First Aid, water search and recovery, crime scene and lost person behavior.
Regarding operations in the field, AKC grants have allowed JCSDA to purchase radios to communicate within the group and with other agencies. They also now have a tracking system that allows JCSDA, three neighboring agencies, and the Emergency Management Agency to track search dogs in the field from an Emergency Operations Command post. The grants also provided cooling vests that enable the dogs to work in 95+ degree temperatures for up to 2 hours longer than their current capacity.
Other K-9 SAR teams are using their grants for GPS Units, collars, and laptops to track man-trailing canines during searches; boat supplies for underwater detection training; and training seminars for Wilderness and Urban Tracking, Air Scent and Human Remains Detection and much more.
You can read the full list of 2011 AKC CAR SAR grant recipients at www.akccar.org/givingback.
I hope you'll join me in celebrating the wonderful work AKC CAR does through its AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund. The Fund has donated more than $4 million to SAR teams and to organizations supporting companion animal relief during natural disasters since its creation shortly after 9/11. You can learn more or show your support at http://www.akccar.org/givingback/.
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