King County Search Dogs

KCSD is an all-volunteer unit of the King County Search and Rescue Association

Please call 911 if you have a search emergency

Search Missions since 1996
1121
Total Training Hours in 2021
5336

What we do

SEARCH

King County Search Dog teams are deployed by County Sheriffs or State Emergency Management to help locate missing persons and evidence. KCSD volunteers and their dogs are certified in two main types of search activity; airscent (looking for any human in a wilderness or park environment) and trailing (looking for a specific human by following a search subject’s unique smells). Some KCSD teams have additional specialty search & rescue certifications for avalanche, disaster, water and human remains detection work. You can learn more in the WHAT we do pages.

TRAIN

King County Search Dogs train a lot! It takes eighteen months or more of training several times a week to develop a reliable airscent or trailing dog. Continued training is then required to pass periodic re-certification tests. In order to comply with the demanding core competency standards of the King County Search and Rescue Association, KCSD handlers and support personnel also undergo extensive training and testing in areas such as wilderness navigation, search & rescue techniques, radio communication, crime scene management, helicopter safety and searcher survival.

EDUCATE

Many KCSD members are respected search dog experts who in turn teach throughout the northwest and around the world.  KCSD also has an active outreach program to raise awareness of KCSD and to promote personal safety in the wilderness. KCSD members and their dogs visit schools, camps and other groups around King County to provide informative talks and demonstrations. You can find additional information on the Stay Safe and Education Pages.

More about what we do

WHO we are

KCSD Members are all volunteers from the Seattle metropolitan area (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) who give up hundreds of hours each year training their personal dogs to the professional calibre required for effective search missions. KCSD volunteers are available for missions 24 hours a day, seven days a week and come from all walks of life. Some members have been engaged in search and rescue work for over twenty years!  You can learn more about the history and governance of KCSD, browse photo and video albums, and find information on current and past KCSD teams and support personnel in the WHO we are pages.

YOU can help

KCSD dogs love to search! Nevertheless, we would much rather meet you at one of our outreach events than as the subject of a Sheriff’s search mission. Before you go out to enjoy the wonderful pacific northwest learn what common sense preparations you can make to keep your activities fun and safe. KCSD is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization and depends on help from the community it serves. You can help KCSD continue its important work through cash or in-kind donations to help the ongoing need for expensive specialized equipment and maintenance. Learn more on the YOU can help pages.

King County Search Dog News

Vote for Lincoln!

All search dogs are heroes but we are quite proud that our very own K9 Lincoln is a nominee for the 2022 American Humane Search and Rescue ‘Hero Dog’ award. YOU CAN HELP Lincoln become one of the finalists by voting for him at http://bit.ly/HeroDogLincoln. You can vote once a day through May 18 and also read about the great dogs that are nominated in the Service, Law Enforcement, Military and Assistance categories. The Hero Dog Award is a wonderful showcase for KCSD and the lifesaving work our dogs do. So please share this post and make voting for Lincoln […]

Happy New Year!

Jack, Bailey, Cleo, Max, Lincoln, Zula, Oso, Fritz and all the rest of the KCSD dogs wish everyone a safe and healthy 2022. 2021 was an intense year for KCSD despite the seemingly relentless pandemic. There was exciting success on search missions but also the tragic loss of one of our newest search dogs Ruby. We responded to 49 searches, participated in 106 training exercises and contributed a total of 7,497 hours (227 hours/person average) to help people in distress in Washington. We are grateful for the support we receive from our community and would be unable to continue without […]

Our hearts are broken. 💔

K9 Ruby died after a tragic accident while off duty on Saturday. Ruby was at the very beginning of her search dog career having passed her airscent certification test with flying colors earlier this month. A non-stop tail wagger, Ruby was a gorgeous three year old Dutch Shepherd with infectious enthusiasm who loved to work and loved to play. Ruby was a formidable search team with her handler Jonathan who joined King County Search Dogs in 2006 and has deployed on over 240 search missions throughout Washington. Please join us in sending condolences to Jonathan and give your puppies an […]

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