Laurel Mountain Dogs Search & Rescue

Local volunteer group canines assist law enforcement & fire departments

by Stacey Dondey – April 4, 2018

A dog’s nose can do what no other resource can. It can locate a missing child, follow a dementia patient that has wandered off, find trapped victims buried under snow or a collapsed building, assist at crime scenes and even locate drowning people.

Laurel Mountain Search and Rescue Team is a volunteer group in Tioga County. In the event of a missing person this group collaborates with law enforcement & the fire department. These hard-working citizens perform training exercises with trailing and air scent dogs on a variety of terrain.

Training is rigorous and time-consuming for both the dog and handler. It is essential for canine handlers to learn survival tactics, wilderness orienteering and wilderness self-sufficiency in preparation of long searches in inclement weather.

Dog handling skills must also be learned during training such as recognizing working v. distracted behaviors, differentiating between alert and find signals, and positioning the dog to maximize terrain coverage. Usually training starts as a game played with puppies, starting with simple reward-based training- such as run-away games or dragging scented toys. As the dog’s abilities improve, daily obedience training continues with the addition of agility and socialization sessions.

Laurel Mountain Search and Rescue Team utilizes all kinds of friendly dogs. Many are rescued dogs now working to become the rescuers. Not only are they ready to serve our community find missing people, but this group also provides public awareness. This week MLSAR dogs met with Mansfield Girl Scouts to educate them on how to properly approach a dog and what to do if lost. “Hug A Tree” encourages children to stay put if lost rather than wandering deeper into the woods.

According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 2100 children go missing every day. Unfortunately, most searches go without the benefit of a search and rescue dog team which is a proven lifesaving resource.

For more information or to begin volunteering please contact:

Laurel Mountain Search and Rescue Team on Facebook

Idea/Concept: Stacey Dondey
Videography: Kaitlyn Callahan
Video Editing: Kaitlyn Callahan
Writing: Stacey Dondey
Correspondent: Stacey Dondey

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by First Citizens Community Bank, Citizens & Northern Bank

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