Pennington County Search and Rescue dogs get expert training

Rapid City, SD Pennington County Search and Rescue was out training their four legged co-workers Thursday after some intense training with an expert.

Thursday a K-9 trainer from the North American Police Work Dog Association certified two new dogs into the field of tracking and human remains detection.

Pennington County has a few search and rescue dogs that they train on a regular basis and deploy around 6 times each year to assist in ongoing investigations.

The dogs detect skin cells that a person sheds while walking and can track a trail several days after a person has gone missing.

Rick Lehmann, Pennington County Search and Rescue assistant team leader says, “Dogs are a huge asset because we can cover so much more area and we can cover specific areas. So if somebody walks away from their vehicles, we can get a direction of travel the dog can follow that scent where people are just randomly looking all the time.”

The certification process for search dogs starts when they are just a puppy and can take several years.

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