Award-winning Serve On Search And Rescue dog Molly is on the scent of more volunteers.

Search And Rescue dog Molly with handler James Lewis at Serve On training.

Search And Rescue dog Molly with handler James Lewis at Serve On training.

Fresh from a prize-winning performance at her local Blue Cross-backed Frome Fun Dog Show, two-year-old Molly has been helping handler James Lewis recruit new members to our excellent K9 Search And Rescue team and to sniff out new training spaces and volunteer ‘bodies’.

Molly’s dog show victory at Cheese and Grain, Frome, attracted some local media interest so James took the opportunity to explain the work of Serve On and the dog team’s need for people to act as Search And Rescue ‘casualties’ for dog training – an appeal already put out internally within Serve On.

Search And Rescue dog Molly and handler James Lewis get some water rescue training with Serve On volunteers.

Search And Rescue dog Molly and handler James Lewis get some water rescue training with Serve On volunteers.

James said: “The dogs are an important part of our team and accelerate any search process by locating casualties or narrowing down the search area. They are trained to locate live casualties and are currently training to search in and around water.”

Members of the team recently joined with Hampshire Search And Rescue Dogs team for water rescue training, and Molly has been doing some water familiarisation of her own.

Search And Rescue dog Molly, with handler James Lewis from @SOK9SAR, undergoes some water rescue familiarisation with Serve On volunteers.

When they are not training on water or in ruined buildings, our @SOK9SAR team are currently looking for enthusiastic dog owners who want to learn more about their pets’ amazing capabilities by playing the role of missing persons or collapsed building casualties.

Serve On Search and Rescue dog Molly obediently awaits her next instruction.

Serve On Search and Rescue dog Molly obediently awaits her next instruction.

James said: “It’s so rewarding…as a ‘body’ you learn about wind scent and how the dogs track lost people.

“During training you are asked to hide in places mimicking the situation of natural disasters. As you learn more, you help to make the dog work harder by developing your understanding of how the process works and hiding in more difficult places.

“We also help to provide training in communications skills, map-reading and first aid; valuable skills to take forward. You can come along and try before you commit.”

James, based in Wiltshire, and other members of the dog team in Gloucestershire, are always on the look-out for suitable places to train and James told White Horse News readers: “We are looking for more local areas to train. If you know of, or own, anywhere suitable – derelict buildings, open spaces with rubble, or farmland, please get in contact.

It’s so rewarding

“We train on a Sunday morning and are looking to come to an arrangement with land owners to continue the training work we do.”

Serve On Search and Rescue dog Molly with her rosette earned in the gun dog category at the Frome Fun Dog Show, backed by @The_Blue_Cross, at @CheeseandGrain 

Serve On Search and Rescue dog Molly with her rosette earned in the gun dog category at the Frome Fun Dog Show, backed by @The_Blue_Cross, at @CheeseandGrain 

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