4 SC handler, dog teams attain national certification - FOX Carolina 21

4 SC handler, dog teams attain national certification

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K9 Beau of SCSARDA working the water for cadaver scent. (Source: SCSARDA) K9 Beau of SCSARDA working the water for cadaver scent. (Source: SCSARDA)
K9 Duke with Handler Maria Pellegrino of SCSARDA detailing the outside of a structure. (Source: SCSARDA) K9 Duke with Handler Maria Pellegrino of SCSARDA detailing the outside of a structure. (Source: SCSARDA)
K9 Brand, one of SCSARDA's area search dogs. (Source: SCSARDA) K9 Brand, one of SCSARDA's area search dogs. (Source: SCSARDA)
K9 Remington, one of SCSARDA's trailing dogs. (Source: SCSARDA) K9 Remington, one of SCSARDA's trailing dogs. (Source: SCSARDA)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Four handler and dog teams of the South Carolina Search & Rescue Dog Association attained national certifications on Tuesday.

According to a release, Mitch Henderson with K9 Remington, Sarah Hey with K9 Brand, Nancy Jocoy with K9 Beau, and Maria Pellegrino with K9 Duke, all received certifications from the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) in trailing, SAR area search, and cadaver detection respectively.

"We are very thankful to receive testing from NAPWDA's experienced Master Trainers, Neil Raymond, retired sergeant and K9 trainer in the Massachusetts State Police, and Sgt. C. R. Jones of the NC State Highway Patrol," said Maria Pellegrino, President of SCSARDA. "Each time we test they offer so much wisdom on how we can improve our handling techniques and develop the best K9 SAR teams possible. SCSARDA is very fortunate to be able to field NAPWDA-certified teams in three disciplines -- trailing, area search, and land and water cadaver detection – to assist emergency services agencies in finding missing persons. It is a real privilege to serve agencies in South and North Carolina, and also to lead this team, which is full of very talented and dedicated human beings and some uniquely skilled K9s."

Some of the certification tests include a one and a half mile trail with three turns, aged at least one hour, and varied surfaces such as vegetation, pavement, and water; include a one and a half mile trail with three turns, aged at least one hour, and varied surfaces such as vegetation, pavement, and water; a search for human remains in 12 different scenarios in six areas, including rubble [simulating a collapsed building], vehicles, water, open wilderness, building, and buried.

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