Super pooches: Volunteers train canines for search and rescue

The sound of panting and the smell of dog breath filled the Kootenai County Search and Rescue building in Hayden on Sunday afternoon as a group of people and their pups learned the ins and outs of search and rescue.

In collaboration with two instructors from Ravalli County Search and Rescue in Hamilton, Montana, about 16 volunteers took lessons on first aid, restraining techniques and where to locate a dog’s pulse. Their canine companions, meanwhile, were schooled in an activity more suited to their acute sense of smell – tracking.

Before long, many of the dogs will receive certification to become official search and rescue animals.

“We enjoy doing this,” said JoMay Wyatt-Pescador, one of the trainers from Ravalli County. “And we like working with other dog people.”

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