The U.S. government is sending two, 72-man search and rescue teams with dogs to help dig out survivors, said Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, who was designated by President Obama to coordinate the U.S. relief effort.
Across the globe, other governments and aid groups are also sending sniffer dogs to search for victims along with food and tons of emergency medical aid.
The Ventura County Star in California reported that search dog teams trained by a Southern California nonprofit group were heading to Haiti today to help with the earthquake relief effort. They are accompanied by a civilian handler who assisted with the Hurricane Katrina and 9-11 rescue missions. Six teams of search dogs and firefighters trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation were preparing to depart this afternoon for the Caribbean nation, said Debra Tosch, the group’s executive director.
“A dog can cover a collapsed structure much quicker than human beings,” Tosch said. Through scent, “they can tell you in a short time if someone is trapped in that rubble.”
The Search Dog Foundation has fascinating stories posted about some of its dogs, many of whom are rescues including Ace, who was left to die tied to a railroad track.