Our Mission

To provide, without cost, trained search and rescue personnel and K9s to the law enforcement agencies of Vermont and New Hampshire to assist in their efforts to locate lost and missing persons.

Search Skills

NEK9 is an airscent K9 team with over 37 years of search experience. At most  search calls, we provide 5-10 K9 teams with field assistants/medical support from the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team (UVWRT). In addition to K9 teams, we provide our own radio communications, computer support, mapping software, and live GPS tracking. Each team  searches a minimum of 80-160 acres in the first shift of 3-4 hours.  Teams are managed by an Operational Leader (OL) who works closely with search management.

All of our teams are certified in finding both live and deceased subjects located on land, under water and snow and in debris. Teams are proficient at man-tracking, clue awareness and crime scene preservation.


Founded in 1981, NEK9 is a volunteer  K9 search and rescue team of 15-20 members. We provide life-saving assistance at no cost to the citizens and law enforcement agencies of Vermont and New Hampshire. Since inception, we have responded to over 800 searches averaging 40 searches per year.


What Happens When We Are Called

For most searches, we’ll be able to send 6-10 certified airscent dog/handler teams. Many teams will be on the road within 15 minutes of our callout. This initial response gives search management the opportunity to search the first 1/2 mile of land surrounding the point last seen within 4-6 hours and they’ll only be managing a small number of trained resources.

At every search, one of our senior handlers acts as OL (operational leader) for the unit. Together with search management, the OL will assign our teams based on the terrain and type of search situation. We also provide our own communications base operations (1-3 radio operators) with mapping software and GPS technology for precise placement of teams in the field and for recording and analyzing coverage of areas searched.

Additionally, when NEK-9 SAR is activated for a search, we bring in field assistants and ground search/wilderness medical support from the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team. Since 1998, NEK-9 SAR and UVWRT have formed a highly successful cooperative training and deployment relationship designed to provide ground search support for navigating with dog/handler teams while searching, and then taking medical control of any found subjects.All of our services are provided FREE to law enforcement and the families of those who are lost or missing.

Partnering Agencies

NEK9 must be activated for searches by the Agency Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). These are the agencies we work with in our primary service area: