K9 Search and Rescue Newfoundland & Labrador
Civilian-trained volunteer Search and Rescue dogs are a valuable tool available to the RCMP, Provincial Police, and other call-out agencies Canada-wide. K9SARNL is pleased to be a part of the Search and Rescue community in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In March 2004, founding members Bettina Lori, Herbert Schuhemacher, and Lisa Giroux assembled a group of 15 people and 8 dogs in Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, for the first group training session for potential SAR dogs. The seeds of K9SARNL were sown.
In 2008, Parks Canada agreed to use our dogs and handlers during official searches within the boundaries of the National Parks. In 2011, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary agreed to call upon our services as a first response to a search.
Since then, full-day formal group training has been held every two weeks in various locations. Group training has focused on creating skilled handlers with highly trained dogs that can function as wilderness SAR units.
Handlers maintain and develop training programs to their individual dog. Therefore, most training takes place outside of the group setting. From March 04-May 06, our members logged over 8200 hours of training time, with even more since then. We are fortunate to have a wide range of experience and backgrounds within our group.
As our membership and commitment grows, we set goals to move forward in our effort to begin offering our volunteer services. Our primary reason for creating the organization was to provide an additional tool to the Search and Rescue effort so that more lives can be saved.
Video of Pishum, a Black Labrador, and her handler Bettina doing some avalanche training in Gros Morne National Park.