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
1064
Total Training Hours in 2019
5736

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

jet, Ruby, Lincoln, Myka

Kudos for K9s!

It’s been a busy couple of months for new certifications for some of the KCSD dogs! K9 Ruby and handler Jonathan (top right) successfully completed their airscent certification test last weekend finding both “lost” subjects in a 40 acre area in less than two hours. K9 Jet (top left), K9 Myka (bottom left) and K9 Lincoln (bottom right) and their handlers Mathew, Courtney and Jon have all recently passed their human remains detection certification test. Please join us in congratulating all these dogs teams for the years of hard work it takes to reach this level of performance. We look […]

The nose knows!

Congratulations to K9s Coulee, Gilly, Zula, and Tesla (clockwise from the upper left) along with their handlers Greg, Kris, Jen and Chris for recent trailing re-certifications. Biannual certification and frequent training are essential for reliable search dogs and demand considerable commitment and dedication.

Search Dogs Really Do Save Lives

In the early hours of April 30th KCSD was deployed to look for a missing 87 year old with dementia. At 2:30 AM, after working less than 15 minutes, K9 Lincoln found the subject who was reunited with their family. Please join us in congratulating Lincoln, his handler Jon and support team Brian and Katherine on Lincoln’s first ‘find’ as well as in thanking all the volunteers from KCSD and King County Search and Rescue who responded to the late night call out from the King County Sheriff’s Office and Bellevue, WA Police Department. KCSD dogs and handlers each spend […]

More Search Dog News