In March, Amigo Search and Rescue (SAR) dog and handler teams trained at Family & Children’s Main Street office. Amigo SAR is a nonprofit K9 search and rescue team that offers its services free of charge to assist police and fire departments to find missing individuals. Although the team is mainly for wilderness SAR they require training in a variety of environments, including buildings.
During the training activity at Family & Children’s, younger dog/handler teams participated in “live find” exercises, in which the dog searches for someone in hiding. Adult dogs and their handlers used source scents to locate people in a variety of environments. Said Executive Assistant Diane Kubik, “Family & Children’s was happy to provide a training space for this important work in our community.”
Amigo SAR teams are called upon throughout the year in all types of weather. A few team members are also members of the Broome County dive team. They use their K9s to assist the dive team by working on a boat and narrowing search areas for drowned victims. In these situations, the dogs sit in the front of the boat and amazingly will determine the location even under the water by “pointing”.
Amigo SAR was started in 1993 by a group of friends, hence “Amigo” was used for the group of dog owners in the Broome County area. Amigo SAR now has dog/handler teams from Broome, Chenango and Tioga counties. The organization is a member of the New York State Federation of Search and Rescue and responds to searches all over New York and sometimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A variety of breeds are trained based on their temperament, playfulness and desire to hunt. Canines are trained to find live humans, human remains or both and are certified through NYSFEDSAR. To learn more about this great organization, visit the Amigo website or on Facebook under Amigo Search and Rescue Dogs.