CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Natural disasters have been in the news a lot lately -- everything from wildfires to earthquakes -- and one volunteer-based group is training their dogs to help find people when mother nature strikes.
The Region 3 K-9 Search and Rescue team is a volunteer-based group. The team has been working with the Polk and Benton counties' sheriff's offices for more than eight years.
Dave Vesely is a member of the group. He told KEZI his team trains extensively every week. Their role with the sheriff’s offices is primarily to find missing children or elderly people.
He said they currently have four certified dogs who are trained in finding missing people, human remains and hidden suspects, and they are even training one of their dogs to be emotional support for impacted families.
Vesely said they have been working with experts who respond to urban and natural disasters. They told Vesely and his team they need to be ready for the unexpected.
"They're going to be five days before they get to the Willamette Valley for something like a serious earthquake,” Vesely said. “So, they're encouraging us to develop these skills among our own teams to find missing people in earthquake situations, you know collapsed structures."
Vesely said it takes a lot of time and money to maintain the team but said it's all worth because they want to help the community.
For more information on Region 3 K-9 Search and Rescue click here.
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