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Providing FREE 24-hour response to law enforcement throughout NH and VT since 1981


May 16, 2018

Who We Are


To provide, without cost, trained search-and-rescue personnel and K-9’s to the law enforcement agencies of Vermont and New Hampshire to assist them in their efforts to locate the lost and missing. These resources are available to law enforcement night and day, 365 days a year by calling our emergency ONLY pager number: 1-877-730-2769

Search Skills:

New England K-9 SAR is a full-service airscent K-9 unit with over 35 years of search experience. At most wilderness search calls, we provide 5-10 dog/handler teams with field navigator/medical support from the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team  In addition to dog/handler teams, we provide our own radio communications and computer support, mapping software, printed maps, and GPS technology.  Each dog/handler/field assistant team (2 humans & one dog) will efficiently and effectively search a minimum of 80-160 acres in their first shift of 3-4 hours.  The combined landmass for the first shift response is up to the first ½ mile surrounding the Point Last Seen (PLS).  These teams are all managed under an “Operational Leader” through our own communications base run by 1-2 radio operators.  Our base is linked directly to search management and is under their overall command. All personnel are also trained in crime scene preservation.

Our wilderness-certified dog teams are trained to find the subject whether they are alive or deceased. We have successfully recovered human remains missing from a few days up to 6 years.  We also have teams trained to locate subjects who may be  under water, in debris or buried in snow.

Click here for an overview of the work we do, as published in the April 2008 edition of Front & Finish™ magazine. (Adobe Reader™ required.)

Organization Description & History

Founded in 1981, New England K-9 Search & Rescue is an all-volunteer wilderness K-9 search & rescue organization of 15-20 members.  We provide life-saving assistance at no cost to the citizens and law enforcement agencies of Vermont and New Hampshire.  We respond to nearly 50 searches a year for lost elderly, children and hikers.

Our handlers cover all their personal expenses: dog care [food, health], outdoor equipment, and travel costs for training and searches.  We specialize in hasty response - meaning our teams are on the road within 15 minutes of call-out.  In addition to wilderness lost-person searches, we train for local disaster response for live and dead victims whether it is a dam collapse where we search debris, a snow-collapsed shopping center, or a serious flood. All our dogs are trained to find victims whether living or deceased – whether on land, drowned, or buried under snow or debris.

In addition to our primary role as a search & rescue organization, New England K-9 Search & Rescue has made a strong commitment to educating children and adults about outdoor safety.  We reach over 1500 school children yearly with presentations, search demonstrations with our dogs, and take home “Lost Proofing” literature. These programs are provided free of charge by our members.

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