PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Using their noses to sniff out trouble. A group of specialized dogs were recently in the mountains. The Kentucky Search Dog Association brought wilderness tracking dogs and cadaver dogs to train using a variety of terrain found in Eastern Kentucky.
Countless hours go in to training these dogs...using their greatest senses to help out in emergency situations
Stephen Rippentrop explains a scenario, "A missing three year old in the wood. We will get called and deploy, rather it be tracking dogs, or air scent, and then sometimes when we might expect the worse we will send the human remain dogs out."
Deploying throughout Kentucky and sometimes even outside the state after disasters or to aide in other types of searches. Murphy, was recently sent to Washington state to search through the devastating mudslides.
Melissa Newman says, "We will deploy just about anywhere...at any time."
More than a dozen dogs and their handlers with KSDA spent time training in Floyd County...an area they say is perfect for them to practice.
Heather Suedkamp says, "This is the type of terrain where we utilize our skills. We get called to the lakes, we get called to strip mines, to the woods."
Also, allowing them to partner with the Floyd County Search and Rescue Squad, as the duties of these four legged responders aren't always limited to land.
"We try to use their knowledge of water rescue and combine it with our knowledge and training of dog skills and capabilities," says Suedkamp.
Handlers say it truly is a partnership as both them and their K9s prepare to respond to a wide variety of scenarios.
All dogs with KSDA are certified nationally either through the North American Police Work Dog Association or through FEMA.