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

Search Dogs Save Lives!

GOOD DOG LINCOLN! On June 21, 2022 five KCSD dog teams responded to a search for an 87 year old with Alzheimers missing overnight in thick woods northeast of Seattle. After working less than 45 minutes K9 Lincoln, Brenna O’Leary and Lincoln’s handler Jon found the subject in steep terrain less than half a mile from their house. While we give our dogs the headlines, the full story is that a great outcome like this results from the teamwork of over twenty five volunteers from several King County Search and Rescue Units: Searchers from ESAR and 4×4 in addition to […]

K9 Myka is on the trail!

King County Search Dogs is proud to announce that we have a newly certified trailing team in our ranks. Congratulations to Courtney and K9 Myka for flying through their trailing test this week! Myka is Courtney’s second search dog. They are now certified in both trailing and human remains detection (HRD). K9 Jack, Myka’s older “brother,” is also certified in two disciplines, airscent and HRD. Courtney is one of only a few handlers in the history of KCSD to have certified with a dog in every core discipline – trailing, airscent, and human remains detection. Quite an achievement! The KCSD […]

Vote for Lincoln!

Congratulations K9 Lincoln! The votes have been counted and thanks to your support our very own K9 Lincoln has been selected as one of the final 3 Search & Rescue Dogs in the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Award competition. We are very proud and grateful to everyone that voted. WHAT’S NEXT: The polls are now open at https://bit.ly/HeroDogLincoln where you can vote for K9 Lincoln to become the top Search Dog and a finalist for the 2022 Hero Dog Award. Please help showcase the life-saving work of King County Search Dogs and build community support by sharing this post […]

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