K9 Team

What the team does:
Nevada County hosts the largest Search and Rescue Dog Team in California, equipped with more than 20 search dogs, whose speed, agility and impeccable scent detection assist in locating missing persons and evidence. On a typical search for a lost person, search and rescue dogs are deployed to seek out human scent and immediately alert their handlers of a find. They act as the “nose” while their handlers take on the role of interpreter, navigator and radio operator. Certified handlers and their dogs on the K9 Team respond to searches within Nevada County, as well as mutual aid requests anywhere in the state. They train extensively in various disciplines, including area scent, trailing, cadaver, water, avalanche, firearms and evidence.

K9 Team

What it takes to be on the team:
The K9 Team searches both in wilderness settings and throughout Nevada County’s developed areas, often at night and in adverse weather conditions. Dog handlers must be dedicated to the ongoing commitment of training their K9s in agility, obedience and search skills. They should also be physically fit, comfortable working in rough terrain and achieve a minimum first responder level of medical training. Search and rescue dogs are high energy and well socialized with people and other dogs. Handlers and their dogs accomplish the complex K9 Team training through a California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) apprenticeship program, which usually takes about two years to complete.