No experience? No Problem. We will teach you everything!
Chesapeake Search Dogs is always in need of dedicated team members. The mission of search and rescue is one of great importance. Lives count on the quality and dedication of the teams who search to save them. We are looking for quality people who will dedicate themselves to this mission. Joining our team with experience is great but it is not required. We welcome serious individuals who wish to participate and be a part of a growing and vibrant volunteer organization. We have positions available in the following areas:
Our handlers train and handle their own dogs. The average handler spends 10-15 hours per week working with his/her dog. It takes approximately 18 months to train a dog to be proficient in searching for lost subjects. A SIGNIFICANT time commitment is required for handler and canine certification. All of our handlers start out as flankers so that they can learn the basics often while training their dog.
A SAR canine team relies on its Flankers. Flankers or Ground Searchers are highly trained individuals who deploy alongside Handlers and Canines during a search. In addition to actively searching for the missing person, these individuals assist with navigation through the assigned area and maintaining communications with command. Our flankers play an invaluable role in allowing the Handler to be able to pay close attention to their canine partner. An average flanker spends 12-20 hours per month working with the team and on their own practicing land navigation. It takes approximately 1 year to learn the skills essential to becoming an operational Flanker. Ask any K9 Handler and you will learn just how critical our flankers are to a successful search.
Our mission support personnel are a critical piece of day to day training and operations on a search. These are our Communications and Logistics experts. If you want to be an active part of the search but prefer technology over briars and steep hills, Mission Support is an amazing role. The individuals in this group operate the radios and ensure the safety of our field units by maintaining contact throughout a deployment or training. This team also works with search managers to brief/de-brief field teams, upload/download tracks from GPS units, and sometimes assist with managing the search.
Behind-the-scenes support is necessary to ensure that we have the means and resources to conduct our searches. Help is needed in the areas of fundraising, record keeping, newsletter writing, and events. We would also enjoy having additional help at public events and fundraisers.
Want to hide in the woods for our dogs with no time commitment? Come out as a volunteer subject for training. We will walk you out to a spot in the woods and leave you there for a short time to be found by one of our dogs – then it’s time to play with the dog as a reward for finding you!
Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians help us maintain the health and well being of our dogs. We ask much of our dogs and they need care.
Veterinary training is not provided.
Our Board of Directors provide overall governance of the team. We expect that our board will have the best interests of the team in mind and will take an active role in fundraising, planning events, and attending board meetings. We encourage our board to be active, show up for the occasional training, and be at public relations events and fundraisers.