They train relentlessly. In the dark. In the rain. In the snow. And the cold. And the heat. Search and rescue dogs are on the front lines when time is of the essence. Their ability to scent and track is unparalleled, as is their tenacity and devotion to the task at hand.

Training begins early for most, with puppy hide and seek games that progress to more advanced and sophisticated searches. The dogs rise to the challenge each and every time, eager to get to work and use the skills they’ve learned so well. Dogs tapped for search and rescue work exhibit an affinity early on, giving them purpose makes them thrive.

Handlers and dogs are mutually devoted to each other and the mission. Like many other working animal relationships, search and rescue teams make and honor lifelong commitments. Across the Commonwealth, search and rescue teams are called out every day. To find a missing child. To locate a senior citizen. To help an accident victim. To assist law enforcement in criminal cases. Simply put, their efforts save lives. Every single day.