Help the Florida Search Dogs Find a Home

The Search Dog Foundation is looking for land to create a permanent home and establish a national training center.

They are searching for California land, 25 to 30 acres, primarily flat, no more than three hours from a major or regional airport, preferably with useable buildings, and preferably with established infrastructure like roads, water, and power.

They’re looking for someone who loves dogs, supports their mission, and knows of a donation of land available for a long-term lease or a California property for sale below market value.

There are 125 advanced canine search teams in the U.S. according to staff.

The Foundation is the only organization in the county able to provide significant numbers of highly skilled teams to respond to disasters such as were used in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

A centralized facility is needed for training and as a resource for all U.S. search teams, says the agency.

Right now Foundation dogs are trained at a kennel in Central California and their headquarters and staff are in Southern California, said Foundation Founder Wilma Melville.

The training center would offer evaluation, care, and pre-training of new canine recruits, formal training for new Foundation canines and handlers, ongoing training for existing Foundation teams to maintain top deployment readiness, and a training resource for all U.S. canine search teams, according to the Foundation’s website.

The Foundation does not rely on government funding to support our program.

In order for them to become eligible for one-time funding potential sites need to be identified by March 31st.

The Foundation celebrated its tenth year recently and welcome 20 new canine-firefighter disaster research teams to their national roster.

Twenty-six advanced-certified canine teams were called out by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to look for people buried alive in the wreckage left by Katrina.

Four Foundation Florida teams were immediately deployed to the areas hardest hit and began searching Aug. 30th.

The critical importance of these canine teams was underscored on Sept. 4th, according to the Foundation, with the discovery of a 70-year-old man buried alive under the debris of his home in Biloxi, Miss.

“When a major disaster occurs, families depend on canine search teams to make sure that their loved ones are safe and that no one has been left behind in the wreckages,” said Debra Tosch, Foundation executive director.

If you can assist with land, call Melville at or at 805-646-8446.

The Foundation is based in Ojai, CA and the website is

For more information call 1-888-4K9-HERO.

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