Our Animal Adventure Summer Campers got a special visit on their last day of camp! Thank you to Mandy, Sylvia, Abby, and Heatherlyn of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) for joining us at the shelter and teaching our campers about their organization! SDF even brought three search dogs, Nala, Hugo, and Ridge, to demonstrate their search and rescue skills. What a perfect way to finish up summer camp!
SDF is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening disaster response in America by recruiting shelter dogs and training them to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. They pair their pups with firefighters and other first responders and offer ongoing training at no cost to emergency organizations.
The SDF staff used our agility yard to demonstrate some of the methods they use to train their Search Dogs. Potential candidates for SDF have intense energy and extreme toy drive. These traits often make dogs unsuitable as family pets, but they are the exact qualities SDF looks for in their Search Dogs!
Above: Canine Care Specialist Heatherlyn plays "victim" by hiding in a barrel with a toy. All three pups found her immediately!
Above: Search Dog candidate Nala demonstrates her skills climbing a ladder. Like many dogs at SDF, one-and-a-half-year-old Nala proved to be too much energy for her previous owners and she was surrendered to a Golden Retriever rescue. After noticing her obsession with toys, she was tested and transferred to SDF to become a Search Dog candidate. Way to go, Nala!
Above: Our campers were gifted "Search Dogs" of their own at the end of the presentation. Too cute!
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