SOURCE: National Search Dog Foundation

January 13, 2010 19:23 ET

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation Deploys Rescue Teams to Haiti

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - January 13, 2010) - National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters, today announced six Canine Search Teams are en route to Haiti to assist with search and rescue efforts in response to the powerful 7.0 earthquake that struck the island on January 12. The State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance are working in conjunction with California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2), a FEMA urban search and rescue task force based in Los Angeles County.

CA-TF2, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, is one of two U.S. Task Forces charged with responding to international natural or man-made disasters. All six teams deploying with CA-TF2 were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to find people buried alive under the wreckage of disasters.

"The Haitian government has requested assistance from the U.S. in responding to the most devastating earthquake to hit the island in 200 years," said Debra Tosch, Executive Director of Search Dog Foundation. "We know that the first few hours after a major disaster has occurred are critical in saving lives and the search and recovery teams are in place now."

Los Angeles team members of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation heading to Haiti today include:

-- Gary Durian & Baxter - L.A. County Fire
-- Ron Horetski & Pearl - L.A. County Fire
-- Bill Monahan & Hunter - L.A. County Fire
-- Jasmine Segura & Cadillac - L.A. County Fire
-- Jason Vasquez & Maverick - L.A. County Fire
-- Ron Weckbacher & Dawson - Civilian

"Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Haiti, and we're honored to be able to help find survivors of this terrible tragedy," said Bill Monahan a firefighter and paramedic with Los Angeles County Fire. "In addition to comforting victims and their loved ones, we'll be relaying up-to-the-minute news and information through the Search Dogs Twitter feed at"


The Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen America's emergency response network by producing the most highly-trained canine-firefighter disaster search teams in the nation. SDF recruits rescued dogs and partners them with firefighters, providing the canines and the training at no cost to their departments. SDF receives no government funding and relies solely on support from individuals, private foundations and companies to produce these highly-skilled teams.

Since its founding in 1996, SDF has rescued hundreds of dogs, many on the brink of euthanasia. They have trained 105 Search Teams, 72 of which are currently active. SDF Teams have been deployed to 66 disasters including the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina and state and local emergencies such as earthquakes, mudslides, building collapses, train derailments and missing person searches. Eight of SDF's teams are members of CA-TF2 and are ready at all times for immediate deployment overseas when called upon by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Janet Reineck, Ph.D.
    Search Dog Foundation Development Director
    (805) 455-6351
    Email Contact

    Marika Knapp
    Account Executive
    Weber Shandwick
    (415) 449-0141
    Email Contact