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Search and rescue clinic held in Lodgepole

 

Chris Evans

Jerry Numon running a cadaver demonstration with his SAR cadaver dog, Pax.

A Search and Rescue clinic was hosted in Lodgepole on Sept. 10 and 11, by Jessie Evans of Evans Shepherds and Kaycee Enslow of First Republic German Shepherds. The clinic was instructed by Jerry Numon, retired Goshen County, Wyoming Sheriff's Department. (Numon is an active SAR member and is the co-director of Goshen County's SAR Team.)

Approximately 18 dogs attended with their handlers, with a few extras participating as observers.

The clinic consisted of an introduction to tracking, cadaver search, search and rescue expectations and education, and scent discrimination education.

The dogs ranged in ages from five months to older canines of various breeds. Two of the youngest handlers were both eight-years-old, both being supervised by their parents. The group worked all day at Kasten's field and ran night tracks out at the Dean Christensen property.

"Whether or not the dogs will be used for active search and rescue or just for something fun to do with your family pet, we want others to be able to use the education they received this weekend to further their relationship and training with their animals," said Evans. "Our Lola is a natural tracking machine, and we're hoping to get her certified with my husband and me, so whichever one of us is available to go out on a call can take her."

Search and rescue is an organization that devotes a tremendous amount of time, training, energy and money to help keep people safe, and, hopefully, bring them home safely whenever there is a crisis.

"We don't ever want to overlook this organization and all the efforts they make to help those in need," states Evans.

From child abductions, impaired elderly that wander off, to actual wilderness calls, and many other scenarios that may require K9 search and rescue teams, the work done is important, and often overlooked.

"There are several entities of search and rescue, but because of our German Shepherd breeding program, the K9 unit has been of the most interest to Kaycee and me. We love our dogs, they were made to work, and we love being outdoors. So, what better combination than helping people out, letting the dogs do what they love, and doing it with them? You have to be ready to go out on a search at all hours of the day and night, regardless of the terrain and weather conditions," said Evans.

Faye Hall completed her SAR Tech certification this summer and is on the Natrona County SAR team in Wyoming. She hopes to have her German Shepherd, Griz, certified within the next year so they can be a certified team together. She was among those in attendance this weekend.

"It was great to see so many folks eager to learn more; some driving over 300-400 miles. I have been involved in a lot of trainings the past few months and the enthusiasm and dedication SAR people have is inspiring. The time and commitment put forth by these volunteers is commendable. It is a blessing to a part of such an amazing group of selfless individuals," said Hall.

"If the interest continues to grow, we'll be hosting another clinic in the spring," said Enslow. "We've already had several inquiries about when and where our next clinic will be held. With the amount of local interest, we may look into establishing more regular training and get into contact with our local law enforcement to offer our resources to them as they see fit."

"We want to thank everyone that came to participate this weekend, the Village of Lodgepole for allowing us to use their facility down at Kasten's field, to Dean Christensen for letting us use his place to run night tracks, and especially to Jerry Numon and Brian Lovak for instructing all of us and for all of your dedication to SAR," Evans and Enslow said.

For information contact Jessie Evans at 308-249-7898 or Kaycee Enslow at 970-370-8354. Or go to http://www.evansshepherds.com or http://www.firstrepublicgsds.com.

 

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