Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit trains with K-9 unit

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SD K9 Training

SAN DIEGO — You may remember when CBS 8 first introduced viewers to the bloodhound Albert when he was just a puppy. 

After more than a year of training, he is now serving our communities as a part of the Sheriff’s Search And Rescue (SAR) K-9 unit; helping find missing and at-risk people. 

Albert is one of 18 dogs in the unit participating in a rope exercise with the volunteer technical rescue unit.

“Any type of dog willing to work for food, treat or praise is more than welcome to come out and join,” said volunteer Beverly Fitzgerald.

During the training, the K-9s and their owners are learning how to safely rappel down a wall that simulates a canyon or challenging terrain. With the summer heat, constant training on various terrains and other conditions is crucial to be ready for a search and rescue call. Trainers say making sure the K-9s are comfortable when they’re called is key.

“There might be an area that is hard to access so they send a K-9 and request us and we set up a system that allows to get them to that location,” said Chris James, Technical Rescue Volunteer. 

“If one of our dogs is injured, they are one of the team. If they are over the side of a cliff, the handler might also be injured and we need to get out of there safely,” said Pam Medhurst, K9 leader for SAR. 

The volunteers completed a five-month academy to be involved. They dedicate their own time, energy and skills. They are also on call 24/7 which they all say is worth it. 

If you would like to volunteer for the Sheriff’s Search And Rescue (SAR) unit, click here.

Source: CBS8

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