K-9 search and rescue donates to disaster relief in Japan

Being lost is a frightening experience for everyone, especially the elderly and young. For more than six years, a dedicated group of dog lovers has been training and organizing to form the Kaiserslautern K-9 Search and Rescue Squad.

The non-profit private organization, composed of 10 U.S. ID cardholders and five dogs, trains every Saturday, year-round, in all weather conditions on Ramstein, Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Pulaski Rod & Gun Club, Miesau and Landstuhl. 

When not in training, this troop of volunteers raised $1,500 for the American Red Cross to assist with the current relief efforts in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Immediately after the tsunami, the American Red Cross donated $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross, a partner society, to aid its efforts in providing medical care and relief assistance. 

To find out more about the efforts of the American Red Cross in Japan, visit redcross.org. 

For information about Red Cross services and volunteer opportunities in the KMC, call the Kaiserslautern American Red Cross at 0631-411-8702.

Everyone is welcome to join the Kaiserslautern K-9 Search and Rescue team, with or without a K-9 companion, especially individuals with training in CPR and first aid, K-9 first aid, wilderness first responder, radio communications, navigation, or physical fitness.

Participating dogs should be well socialized, controllable on- and off-leash, and comfortable with children, crowds and riding in vehicles. Dogs must not be aggressive toward other dogs or people and must eventually become certified through the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Program.

Although search and rescue are two distinct operations, those involved must work together as a team. If you think you and your dog are up for the challenge, e-mail them at kaiserslauternK9SAR@yahoo.com or find the Kaiserslautern K-9 Search and Rescue Squad on Facebook.

(By Raffaella Burriss)