Monday, April 12, 2010

International Search & Rescue Dog Day

April 25th is International Search & Rescue Dog Day. This is a young event, begun in Austria in 2008, but it is certainly worthwhile. You probably have some inkling of the enormous amount of work involved in training and being certified for search and rescue work, but did you know that teams almost always pay their own way to search or disaster locations. Not to mention having to take time off from whatever their paying work may be, and leaving family and friends for however long their services are required.

With all the recent magnitude 7+ earthquakes around the world, I'm sure many teams have been busy. This event is one fine way to acknowledge their dedication. You can find the official website at

On April 25th there will be events at various locations (unfortunately, mostly in Europe) beginning at 10 am local time. At 3 pm GMT (that's Greenwich Meridian Time, i.e., London), all participating dog teams will have a symbolic deployment around the world and greetings will be read out by the highest ranking politician available. Some teams will be online via webcams. You can also find a list of participating rescue dog teams at the website, and new photos will be posted after the event.

When you are thinking about charitable donations, please consider your local search and rescue. We have one out here on the relatively small and isolated Olympic Peninsula, so there's probably one near you. They almost always need equipment and training and travel expenses. And they'll be ready to help if you ever need rescuing.

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