Dog Teams Search for Survivors of Missouri Tornado

Canine-firefighter teams have been deployed to Joplin, MO, to search for survivors of the recent tornado.

Posted: May 23, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

huck and brentJason and jagger

Brent Koeninger with Huck (top) and Jason Smith with Jagger (bottom)

Based out of Oklahoma City and trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (NDSDF), the teams—Brent Koeninger & Huck and Jason Smith & Jagger—started searching at 2:00 a.m. Central time yesterday, working in shifts along with two Tulsa-based search teams. Jason reported via text message that their canine partners are in good spirits and working well.

They searched approximately 40 structures during their first shifts. During the early morning hours Huck showed interest in several vehicles buried in rubble. His handler later learned that someone had been pulled from one of those vehicles a few hours earlier—which was the “residual scent” Huck had detected but not alerted on.

“As the minutes tick by, more and more folks are being accounted for. So proud to be a part of the rescue operations, a part of Oklahoma Task Force 1, and part of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.” Jason Smith – Oklahoma City Fire

Huck and Jagger are both “rescued dogs turned rescuers.” Huck was discovered at San Francisco’s East Bay SPCA, Jagger at the Haven Humane Society near Redding in Northern California. Read their rescue stories here.

Stay tuned to SDF's Facebook/Twitter for updates:

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization based out of Southern California. There are currently 75 NDSDF-trained search teams located in California, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah and they hope to train 21 new teams in 2011. 


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Stephanie   North Canton, OH

5/29/2011 8:26:21 AM


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Anon   City, CA

5/25/2011 7:35:27 PM

Great article!

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

5/24/2011 11:26:12 PM

I think it's wonderful that more and more dogs are used for this type of thing. After all, they are far better at it then we mere mortals with pretty useless noses.

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