Latest News

Raise a glass for K9 Syrah!

WOW! On Saturday K9 Syrah and handler Brittney found their first “lost person” in under 5 minutes and the second at 45 minutes to pass the KCSD air scent certification test well within the two hour limit. Brittney is a graduate student in Applied Animal Behavior & Welfare at Virginia Tech and has a Certificate in Applied Animal Behavior from U. Washington. Highly motivated K9 Syrah is a Belgian Malinois adopted from Woof Project Rescue that loves her reward toy. When the team was asked which end of the leash is smarter, Brittney looked at Syrah who just smirked. Let’s raise a glass to celebrate Team Syrah’s accomplishment and wish them success on all their future KCSD search missions.

Farewell K9 Oso

We grieve: K9 Oso died peacefully at home last week after a conspiracy of health problems overtook him far too young. Named in honor of the tragic 2014 Snohomish County landslide where his handler Heather Jo Cutting worked along side so many other rescuers, K9 Oso lived up to his name responding to over 160 search missions and making several important finds during his career. He earned KCSD and National Search Dog Alliance certifications in airscent and human remains detection and also used those skills searching from boats and in the snow.
Whether jumping out of a helicopter at first light to search a remote mountain side or jumping off a police boat to indicate a submerged find, Oso was always ready to go. Heather and Oso had a beautiful, almost fluid partnership when working on a search assignment or when adventuring around the Pacific Northwest. They were a role model K9 team, each one seemingly knowing what the other was thinking.
It’s small comfort to know your K9 partner is finally at rest when the loss is so fresh and painful but Oso has left a legacy as a teacher. Following Heather and Oso on a search mission or in training was always an inspiring masterclass. There is a piece of Oso that persists in what he taught Heather as well as in everything Oso helped teach a generation of search teams in KCSD, around the PNW, and overseas. Please join us in sending deepest condolences to Heather, her husband Josh Gerstman and Oso’s K9 family Natick and Tika.
Farewell K9 Oso 12/30/2014 – 3/19/2024
Thank you for your service and for being our friend.

There are no words…💔

King County Search Dogs mourns the loss of a legend. K9 Jackson, known to all as “Jack!”, died suddenly last week after a decade of service to our community.
Full of life and a bit full of himself, Jack was a beautiful German Shepherd Dog who was certified in wilderness airscent and human remains detection. Jack was an instant hero when he found a missing 9 year old girl on his very first search. He was so happy to find her and so eager to play that it startled the girl and other searchers had to chase after her while his handler Courtney distracted Jack with reward play. Jack had a special bond with Courtney that was evident on both their faces whenever they trained and on over 150 subsequent mission deployments. As mentors and role models Jack and Courtney helped shape a generation of KCSD search dog teams.
Jack loved everyone. He will forever be remembered for laying his slobbery toy at the feet of each and every person at training asking for a vigorous tug or a game of fetch. It was always a joy when your turn came because it was clear by the look in Jack’s eyes that he did not just want to play, he wanted to play with you!
Cherished memories alone can’t mend broken hearts but we hope you will join us in sending condolences to Courtney and Jack’s protégée K9 Myka.

KCSD Dog Wins AKC Excellence Award on National Television

Wow: We are so proud to report that our very own K9 Lincoln has won the 2022 Search & Rescue Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) from the American Kennel Club Humane Fund. Winners were announced last Sunday on an hour long ESPN2 special that included video profiles and commentary on Lincoln and the winners in the uniform services, support, therapy and companion categories.

Lincoln is an energetic flatcoated retriever certified in wilderness airscent and human remains detection and was recognized for finding at-risk Alzheimer’s subjects twice in the last eighteen months. Lincoln’s handler Jon noted that it is a tribute to the KCSD training program and all the regional colleagues who have shared their expertise over the years.
AKC ACE is a merit-based award, celebrating dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind in five categories from over 600 nominations each year. Honorees receive $1,000 awarded to a pet-related charity of their choice (which will go to KCSD), a one-year supply of Eukanuba premium dog nutrition, and an engraved sterling silver medallion.

The AKC has published a feature article on Lincoln and the you can view the video profile below.

Join us in congratulating Lincoln and Jon on this wonderful recognition.

Congratulations Team Riley!

We are excited to report that K9 Riley and his handler Mary passed their wilderness airscent certification test by finding two ‘lost’ subjects in 40 acres of woods with plenty of time to spare. It was a challenging wet and cold day with gusty winds that were constantly changing. At one point the soap bubbles Mary was using to check the wind started moving to the north but before hitting the ground they reversed and moved ten feet south. K9 Riley was not fooled for a minute. Such a good dog!