NASDA was formed in the fall of 1996 by a small group of people with an interest in dogs and in search and rescue. Those people went to countless seminars and committed to realistic SAR certification on themselves and the team. We provide area, trailing and HRD (Cadaver) dogs at no charge to law enforcement, fire departments and rescue squads.

Interested in being a member?

Search and rescue takes a long term commitment. You have to train yourself and your dog and maintain that training for the life of the dog. We train weekly and expect all members to make most training events. We want you to be an integral part of the team. You will also be required to obtain various national certifications which require a great deal of time and study beyond our weekly training. Not only is it about training your dog, but there is a lot for you to learn as well on topics from lost person behavior, to scent theory, to wilderness first aid, and more. On average, it takes about two years before new teams are ready to test to become operational.

We can evaluate your dog and discuss which discipline you may have an interest in. Please understand that not all dogs will be accepted. Appropriate breed(s), personality, and age are a must. As it takes about two years of training, it is best to start a puppy or younger dog. Common breeds in search and rescue are Labs, German Shepherds, Malinois and a variety of other retrievers and working breeds. Our working teams currently include Labs, German Shepherds, Flat Coated Retrievers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrivers, an Australian Shepherd, and a Golden Retreiver mix.

Please contact us at if you are interested in joining the team.

Want to get involved, but don't have a dog?

Perhaps you don't have a dog but are interested in Search & Rescue. We also welcome individuals without dogs who would like to be support crew (sometimes called "flankers"). No one is deployed alone for safety reasons, so we need trained people who can acompany our dog & handler teams. Support personel still have training requirements to meet as well as certifications to obtain, but it is a great way to start learning, and less intensive than also training a dog. Even if you are interested in eventually being a dog handler, some prefer to start as support, learning the human-side of things first while getting to know various breed's working styles and personalities firsthand before commiting to sharing a life with a working dog partner. Particularly if you are interested in the breeds currently on the team, this can be a great way to get a head start by utilising our experience to help select a puppy from proven working SAR lines.


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