Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More about how our pets can help in Japan

 Here is an excerpt of an email I received and feel that I should pass along to you.  Our wonderful dogs can be of service to us during and after natural disasters.  Here is only one group that utilize dogs natural abilities to help find victims of this horrible disaster. 

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By: : Janet Reineck, Search Dog Foundation Development Director

SUNDAY, MARCH 13 – 8pm PST

Six Canine Disaster Search Teams trained by the National Disaster
Search Dog Foundation (SDF) have arrived in Japan and will soon
be traveling to the devastated region where the skills of the
canines are critically needed to use find people still trapped in
the rubble.

The teams have their gear ready and are waiting to leave the
Misawa Air Base and head to Ofunato City on the North East coast
of Japan where they will be conducting reconnaissance and primary
searches. The group is divided into the RED team (Jasmine &
Cadillac, Eric & Riley, Gary & Baxter), and the BLUE team
(Bill & Hunter, Linda & Joe, Ron & Pearl).

The teams were called into action on Friday by USAID as part of
Los Angeles County Task Force 2. They traveled on a chartered
plane out of LAX together with Virginia Task Force 1 (America’s
other international Task Force). Some 75 tons of rescue equipment
and supplies for each Task Force were sent into the disaster zone
via military transport.

The teams flew by way of Alaska where the plane touched down to
re-fuel. An airport van shuttled the dogs and their handlers to
the snow so they could stretch their legs (and paws!). They
landed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan on Saturday at
10:30pm PST. The group of 12 dogs did well on the flight over and
bedded down with handlers to rest after their long journey.

The job of the dogs is to find live victims, conscious or
unconscious, in the debris left by the earthquake and Tsunami.
All rescue personnel will be awaiting a “Bark Alert” from the
dogs, letting them know there is someone in need of rescue.
Everything the teams have learned during their intensive training
will be put to use in saving lives.

Since SDF’s founding in 1996, their teams have been part of 75
deployments—including the World Trade Center attacks, Hurricane
Katrina, and the Haiti disaster, where they helped bring 12
people to safety. Each time the teams deploy they come back with
crucial lessons that are shared with all Search Teams to sharpen
training techniques and tactics and enhance emergency response in
our country…and abroad.

SDF will train 21 new teams in 2011 at a cost of $15,000 per team
to be ready for the next local, national or international
disaster – at no cost to taxpayers or the government.

For more information about the Search Teams or to make a donation
to turn rescued dogs into rescuers, help form our new 2011 teams,
and provide the highest level training to our existing teams:
visit www.SearchDogFoundation.org, and follow the teams on
Facebook and Twitter.
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