Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wall Doxey seminar attracts Search & Rescue K-9 teams
More than 50 handler/K-9 teams converged on Wall Doxey State Park for training at the October 8-12 NOCDS’ (Network of Canine Detection Services) 10th annual SAR K-9 Seminar, and spent the week practicing field exercises under the supervision of experienced instructors.
The first seminar was implemented in 1997 and is sponsored by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management.
Students traveled from Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Louisiana to participate in this highly-regarded event.
Dogs representing a wide variety of breeds and ages registered and trained in specialized classes focusing on mantrailing, air-scenting, and human remains detection (HRD). Separate classes taught skills in land HRD and in water HRD.
The faculty of nationally-recognized instructors came from as far as Wisconsin, Florida, Louisiana, and even Germany, to share their proven training methods with a student body comprised largely of volunteer dog handlers who individually fund their own travel and seminar expenses.
Classes frequently took field trips outside the park in order to train the canine teams in realistic and challenging working conditions, such as the Holly Springs courthouse square during business hours on a weekday.
Other training locations were generously offered by businessmen, city administrators, and property owners in Holly Springs, Byhalia, and surrounding areas, and included warehouses, a school building, a nursing/rehabilitation facility, salvage yards, and public maintenance compounds, as well as a variety of privately-owned wilderness sites.
NOCDS Seminar 2007 class rosters listed 15 canine teams training in mantrailing, taught by instructors Christiane Liebeck, Perry Nelson and Deb Goebels; 13 canine teams training in land HRD under instructors Lisa Higgins, Brad Dennis, and Barbara Holley of the Desoto County Emergency Services K-9 Unit; 8 canine teams training in water HRD under instructors Joe Mayers and Paul Martin; and 17 canine teams training in air-scenting (wilderness area search) under instructors Sarah Garfunkel, Judy Thigpin, and Judy Otto of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office SAR K-9 Unit and the Mid-South Search & Rescue Dog Association (MSSARDA).
Area students attending the seminar were George Karz of Byhalia (Marshall County Sheriff’s Office SAR K-9 Unit); Gwenda Murray of Byhalia (United K-9), Charmaine Wright of Horn Lake (Desoto County Emergency Management Services); Kathy Doty of Columbus (Golden Triangle K-9 Unit); and Officers Heath Beard and Raymond Hackler of the Columbus Police Department.
Opportunities to evaluate handler-canine teams for mission-readiness under NOCDS standards were offered on October 7, when 25 teams were tested by evaluators.
Area teams passing evaluations included Kathy Doty and Belgian Malinois “Lakota” of Columbus (land HRD); Judy Otto and Belgian tervuren “Clark Kent” of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office SAR K-9 Unit (land HRD).
Seminar officials wish to extend special thanks to instructor and author Christiane Liebeck for joining them from Germany.
Students also expressed appreciation for the organizational efforts of NOCDS seminar organizers Mike Jones, Danny and Barbara Holley, T.H. Walker, Chris Jones; their support staff: Rhonda Maine, Charmaine Wright, Mark Gregory, Jeannie Shull, Joe and Tracy Lowry; and Keith Nichols and Keith Reese of Desoto County Search and Rescue, who provided transportation.
The NOCDS board of directors is already moving forward with plans for next year’s seminar. For more information, visit http://nocds.250free.org/nocds.htm or contact T. H. Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mike Jones, at email@example.com.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, corrections: email@example.com
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page