SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Scott County's K-9 team is expanding. Pups are in training to meet the growing need for experienced search and rescue dogs.
They say an increased number of missing person's cases has them working constantly, and in need of dogs and money to keep the operation going.
Seven puppies are now in the process of rigorous training to become future leaders of Scott County's K-9 search and rescue team.
Christa Tucker says the group formed after September 11. Since then, they've put in thousands of hours, covering thousands of acres in multiple states.
Dogs like Maggie who's been with the team from the beginning, bring closure to families wake of tragedy.
What's alarming to the crew is they say in the last ten years, it seems the number of families in need seems to be growing.
Dogs require constant training, dogs are rewarded with praise, and it's the same story for their human counter parts. The team is not for profit but often, they reach into their own pockets to respond.
Bob Sherrill and his pup Kitt just joined the team. He the met the group after organizing large scale searches for his friend Jacque Waller.
"They've covered the Waller case with me every time I've asked for help," Sherrill said.
He says he learned the value of the team as they helped him clear land and water areas in the search for Waller. He learned about the needs of the team, not just money but also the dogs themselves. He was especially touched when he learned Maggie would soon retire. He knew of her contribution and felt her legacy must be continued
Maggie's a great dog," said Sherrill. She had three water and three land rescue in her career, so she's helped seven different families find closure."
They are a priceless tool in the search for missing people. However, handlers say we have to come up with the money, time, and volunteers in order for the dogs to make the most of their God given skills.
To learn more:
If you'd like to donate send contributions to this address:
SEMO Search Dog Association Inc.
C/O Mary Stricker
315 County HWY 35
Charleston, MO 63834