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It is never easy, and if you find the answers, let the rest of us know. I think a lot of LE has NO IDEA of how search dogs work, and they really don't care. That is also true for the majority of SARs with no dogs too. They'd call out a live find dog for cadaver work, or vice versa, and then say "the dog didn't help us any." I know this is true in my area, and it was confirmed that it is pretty much universal after reading Susannah Charleson's book Scent of the Missing.

Our local SAR group does not have a search dog, but they have a wanna be handler who takes her dog everywhere with her. This does not help those of us who have certified dogs. Her dog does nothing, so the whole team thinks that search dogs do nothing. I tried to join the team, but because my dog was such a threat to making her dog look bad, she slammed the door in my face. ( Shouldn't it be about FINDING people?!)

My next stop was directly with the sheriff's office. I wrote a letter, submitted my resume and certifications and offered to give a demo/brief class on search dogs (which I did). After that, our PD has a K9 unit. I knew one of them, asked to trained with him ( tracking, not protection) and actually floored him with my dogs's abilities. Whenever our PD is called by another agency or with their own need to track a civilian, they call me, as my dog is not trained for criminal apprehension. Our last callout resulted in a hard surface, urban trail and getting the find. (not that getting the find is the most important part, but it sure feels good.)

It takes a lot of perseverance, letter writing, and getting out there and being seen. Good luck
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