Canine search and rescue unit looking for new training sites

The Canadian Canine Search Corps is training its Okanagan team

An Okanagan canine search and rescue unit is looking for new training sites as winter comes.

The Canadian Canine Search Corps (CCSC) is a non-profit organization that trains dogs to look for human remains around difficult terrain, including wilderness areas and bodies of water. Okanagan team lead Vanessa James-Davies said the dogs go through years of training before they can be certified.

“Our dogs are trained to search and provide a specific alert to the handler, indicating to us they have found something. That’s essentially what we do,” she said.

“We can do area searches, water searches, as well as building searches and during natural disasters.”

Training can take about a year and a half to two years, which is why the group is on the lookout for new training sites all the time. James-Davies said the goal is to expose the dogs to as many scenarios and areas as possible. She said it’s important the dogs don’t get too familiar with one site.

Currently, the group has a few training places but are looking for additional ones where the dogs can learn new terrain, especially as winter weather approaches.

“The more different types of situations we can get the dogs in, the better they’re going to handle it when they get out on deployment. They can’t get too comfortable with sites because they know the hides. They’re smart.”

“We need to get them into different areas for different airflows as well. Areas like wilderness areas, anything that has a river, lake or creek access that people can provide us. Structures, buildings, demolition sites, construction sites, anything,” she added.

The team trains twice a week, on a weeknight and one day during the weekend. Handlers set up problems for the dogs with a different focus each time. Some handlers work on the search component, while others train their dogs to be able to work independently and away from their handler.

If you have a site for the CCSC, you can reach out through their website or their Facebook page.

READ: Film festival boosts Okanagan Rail Trail campaign


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Okanagan company backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Vernon-based Tolko Industries sponsors art contest open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read