Happy New Year to our family, friends and supporters! All the best in 2018...
Meighan and Chase from Edmonton, AB
Congratulations to Nate and Finn for passing their Supporting Associate test. Congratulations also to Pam for passing her Field Tech test to move to Active Level.
Pam's Standard Schnauzer, Sofie. Sophie is in training as a Human Remains Detection dog.
Congratulations to Dave and Che who passed their Active level Live find re-certification in November with A/S/Sgt Tom Bechtold, Edmonton Police Service Canine Unit.
SARDAA Executive for 2017-18
President ....... Mike Arychuk; Vice President.... Paula Hale; Secretary/Treasurer.... Michelle Limoges; Training Director.... Maryann Warren
By Michelle L. Limoges
The national search and rescue conference, SARScene 2017, was held in Winnipeg November 20 and 21.
Since SARDAA, as an organization, likes to have a presence at regional and national SAR meetings and conferences, our executive asked me to attend. There was ample opportunity to chat with old friends and acquaintances from other SAR organizations. Compared to past SARScene conferences that I have attended, this one left a lot to be desired. It was a short session – only 1.5 days in length and the content of the presentations was either not of interest to civilian SAR personnel, or very much shy of useful content. Fortunately the entire bill for my attendance was under $500, so not a lot of funds were expended for such a small return. There was no K9 content at all although I did have a conversation about the Manitoba SAR dogs with their K9 coordinator, Dave Palmer, Manitoba OFC.
I attended - Consultation on Priorities for SAR Volunteers where we discussed ways to attract and retain SAR volunteers. They also discussed other related areas of SAR in which groups could become involved. The main suggestion was participation in prevention efforts. Many groups have challenges retaining members if the group does not receive many call outs, or if the groups are not able to respond to incidents because of the MOU they have in place with tasking agencies. Members become frustrated with a situation that entails lots of training but no incidents. On the other hand, some groups have too many call outs where only a few team members respond. This last situation can result in burn out for those few members. Another solution discussed was to develop a curriculum for high schools and secondary education facilities on search and rescue. The aim would be to attract more young people.
Large Search Operations. Two seasoned SAR managers from Manitoba described four missing person incidents they were involved with in the past few years. They spoke of the situation, challenges surrounding the search, and the eventual outcomes. Two incidents were regarding a missing 3 year old who was tragically found drowned in a stream, and a missing 4 year old who was found alive in a roadside ditch. They also described an evasive teenager who had never left the farm property but who kept moving around, and a missing hunter who walked out of the bush 21 days later; they have no idea where he had actually been! No SAR dogs were used in any of these incidents.
Exploring the Manitoba Model for SAR. Presenters described the chain of command for search and rescue in Manitoba…. Calls go through police and then OFC Manitoba who then call the three closest ground SAR teams. Unified command is set up of both RCMP and OFC staff. OFC have 45 SAR management staffers with a wealth of equipment including vehicles. Manitoba also has the Manitoba of Emergency Services College where training takes place. Manitoba has a provincial K9 Coordinator and they currently have 9 dogs certified in a combination of live find, disaster and HRD.
Canada Task Force 4 resides in Manitoba.
SAR in Major Municipalities. Officers from Winnipeg Police and Greater Toronto Area generally described their approach to SAR in their cities.
BY THE NUMBERS (lifted from the Edmonton Journal - Dec 16, 2017)
11,900 The number of 311 complaints about dogs that Edmonton’s animal care and control team has responded to so far this year (Dec 2017).
20 The number of officers employed to respond to dog complaints in the city. They investigate every complaint, said acting coordinator Trena MacGillivray.”It doesn’t matter if there’s a trend or not, we’re willing to look into it.”
40+ Designated urban sites where dogs are allowed to run off leash in Edmonton. City council passed a new off-leash strategy in March 2016 with a new focus on safe fencing to keep dogs off bike paths and out of playgrounds, better signage and dog-related amenities. Upgrades to existing parks will compete for funding with other projects in the next capital budget cycle.
Five Things about Dogs and Cats (lifted from the Edmonton Journal Dec 1, 2017)
Who is Smarter?
The on-going debate about whether cats or dogs are more intelligent may have finally been solved by scientists. For the first time, researchers have studied not just the size of animals’ brains, but the number of neurons in their cerebral cortex – the “little grey cells” associated with thinking, planning and complex behavior. The results show that dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons while cats have just 250 million. Put into perspective, humans have around 16 billion or about 30 times that of a dog and 60 times that of a cat.
What Does That Mean?
“I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience,” said Dr Suzana Herculano-Houzel, associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. “I’m 100 per cent a dog person but… our finding mean to me that dogs have the biological capability of doing much more complex and flexible things with their lives than cats can.”
Other Animals? Scientists analyzed ferrets, mongoose, raccoons, cats, dogs, hyenas, lions and brown bears. They found that many animals with the largest brains had the fewest neurons. For example, the brain of a golden retriever has more neurons than a hyena, lion or brown bear even thought those animals have brains up to three times as large. The brown bear had a similar number of neurons to a cat, even though it has a brain 10 times as large, suggesting cats are as smart as bears but not as clever as dogs.
Dog lovers Agree.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the British Kennel Club, said, “The majority of those who prefer dogs will likely say that they are intellectually superior to cats. Dogs thrive in many roles in society and they seem to have a biological ability to do much more than cats.”
A Cat Lover Responds. Celia Haddon, author of 100 Ways for a Cat to Tran Its Human, said, “(Dogs are) descended from wolves that hunt in a pack and therefore need complex behaviors to cooperate with each other. Cats don’t have these behaviors because they hunt alone and can, and often do, live alone. Mind you, you could say that they are cleverer than dogs because they just eat cat food and don’t have to do anything in return. What’s so stupid about that???
Say What... Cats???? Twang is an EPS- accredited HRD dog handled by Maryann.
There's no war at SARDAA's Storage Locker!
Kerrie and Sam have organized and reorganized our brand new storage locker location in St Albert. It is now 'perfect'!!! Thanks Kerrie and Sam for all your hard work!
December 3rd 'Winter Picnic' -
SARDAA members getting ready for an exercise in compass use - find your fireplace with compass bearings, build a fire and boil water; then lunch!
OFC Provincial SAR Liaison Mike Cook (blue coat) enjoying moose chili at our picnic.
SARDAA members are grateful to the many donors who support us through CANADA HELPS - thank you for your generosity.
SARDAA members at Cabela's Hometown Heroes Event on Remembrance Day - November 11 -
Members Kate and Jenga were joined by Elisa, Maryann and Twang, and Jenna and Ivy in greeting visitors at Cabela's.
Yoyo's handler is Maryann and he's in training for Human Remains Detection.
Your dog may be a candidate to be a blood donor if they are -
55 lbs or over, 1-8 years of age, current in vaccinations, even temperament, donations are every 3 months.
K9 Blood donor clinic, NAIT For more information, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us: 204.632.2586
SARDAA's Perseverance Award!
This is a long-standing, special award presented to the SARDAA member who has demonstrated outstanding perseverance over the past year(s). This year's award was presented to Jenna for her hard work with Ivy and for achieving Active Level in Human Remains Detection. Good Job, Buddy!!!
Julia (last year's recipient) presenting the award to Jenna at our Christmas party.
Ivy indicating a scent source during a training session in December.
SAR Dog Tyndre retiring.
Born in 2007, Tyndre is Michelle's fifth SAR Dog since 1989. Tyndre had a good long career, with successes. Since Tyndre will be 11 years old in the spring of 2018 and she has arthritis, it's time for her to relax and join the ranks of the other retired SARDAA SAR dogs - Aussie, BB and Parquetta. Is there a pension?
Tyndre indicating an article in 2017; no lying down in the snow for this gal!