2012 65¢ Search and Rescue Dog
Dogs at Work
Issue Date: January 20, 2012
City: Merrifield, VA
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
A search and rescue dog can save lives because it can do the work of twenty to thirty humans. A dog uses its keen sense of smell to locate victims in the wilderness or at the site of natural or manmade disasters.
These dogs must be agile, strong, and have endurance because they work on unstable surfaces for long hours. The dogs cannot be distracted by loud noises or strangers. For them, tracking down a smell is a game. When their handlers give the command to “Find it!” they are excited for the adventure.
Search and rescue dogs specialize in either airscenting or tracking. In cases of disasters where there may be multiple victims, the dog sniffs the air for traces of human scent. Whether it is a natural disaster such as an avalanche, tornado, or hurricane, or a manmade catastrophe like a collapsed building, dogs trained in airscenting aid rescuers in getting to victims quickly.
A dog trained to track follows a specific smell. An article of clothing or a known trail gives the dog a starting point. This dog may help find a missing person in the woods or locate a drowning victim.
Though it may seem like playing to the search and rescue dogs, their lifesaving work is vital to the humans they help.