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Call Outs:  June11th Garfield Heights/ June 13 Chagrin Falls/ June 17 Moreland Hills/ June 25 Maple Hts CART




what we do

What We Do

The Ohio Search Dog Association, Inc. (OSDA) is a non-profit, all volunteer emergency response unit

specializing in Search and Rescue (SAR)

We provide qualified K9 search teams to assist local, state and federal authorities in locating trapped or missing persons.  

OSDA educates agencies, as well as the general public, about the use and benefits of properly trained K9 search teams in

search and rescue missions.  OSDA has participated in search missions in Ohio and several surrounding states.  These operations have included searches for Alzheimer patients, mentally handicapped individuals who have wandered away from homes or hospitals; lost, missing or abducted children; and victims of drowning, violent crimes, plane crashes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters, natural or man-made.

Canine Resources for Search and Rescue Operations

Land Area Search          Trailing/Tracking          Disaster Search          Collapsed Structure          Water Recovery

Lost Persons          Human Remains Detection          Child Abduction Response

Area Search

In area search, the canine searches for any human scent (not for a specific human), usually when a scent article is not available. The dogs test the air and when a scent is detected the dog works back and forth up the scent, narrowing the scent to the victim. This technique is frequently used in wooded or wilderness areas to find missing hikers or lost children.  It allows canine teams to search large areas in less time than searchers on foot.  Both live find and HRD canines can use this air scenting technique for searching areas.


In trailing and tracking, a scent article (like the victim's clothing, pillow case or hairbrush) is obtained from the possessions of the missing person.  The canine is allowed to smell the scent article and then is asked to locate a scent trail from the point last seen. The canine can follow the scent of that particular human, by detecting tiny skin and hair cells which are continuously cast off of the missing person as he or she travels.  These cells (rafts) leave a trail for the canine team to follow.

Disaster Search

In disaster search, the canine teams are searching for people who may be trapped in the debris of a building collapse or debris field following a tornado, explosion, hurricane, plane crash or other sudden catastrophic event.  These dogs use air scenting (similar to area search).  Dogs can be trained to search for "live find" or HRD in rubble.

Human Remains Detection (HRD)

Just as dogs can be trained to search for human scent, they can also be trained to search for human remains.  This can include deceased persons, as well as human tissue, blood, bones or teeth.  Dogs trained in HRD are trained to alert when human remains are detected.  This can be useful in searching for missing persons who are no longer alive.  Water HRD dogs can even detect human remains scent at the water surface from gases and oils being given off by the underwater body.


Team & Handlers



Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)

OSDA serves as the primary K9 asset for the Ohio Region Two Urban Search and Rescue Strike Team.  OSDA provides highly trained canine teams to search for live and deceased victims in collapsed buildings and rubble.  These K9 teams have trained throughout the country and are certified as Disaster Canine Specialists at the TEEX Disaster City at Texas     A & M University.

Child Abduction Response Team (CART)

OSDA provides specially trained K9 teams to assist the law enforcement Child Abduction Response Teams (CART). These teams respond to assist in finding lost persons and those who may have been abducted.  OSDA works with the Valley Enforcement Group Child Abduction Response Team (VEGCART) and Southeast Area Law Enforcement Child Abduction Response Team (SEALECART) in Northeast Ohio.

Ohio Federation of K9 Search Teams

OSDA is a proud member of the Ohio Federation of K9 Search Teams.  We believe in the mission of the federation to promote K9 SAR, as well as education and cooperation among Ohio K9 teams.  OSDA and the Ohio Federation support the concept of only deploying canine teams which are certified by nationally recognized agencies.

contact & donations

Contact and Donations

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

International Excess Program Manager

Embrace Pet Insurance

Hyland Software


Lyons Club of Lorain

Kristy's Kritters


Labs by the Lake

Meadowlands Vet Clinic

How you can HELP Support OSDA


OSDA is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

All donations are tax deductible.  

Your contributions would help support;

K9 and Handler training


Education Programs

Search Operations

Donations are accepted through PayPal or Just Give.

You can support OSDA by shopping on Amazon with Amazon Smile. 

Our K9's and team members THANK YOU!

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Tel: 440-323-2127

P.O. Box 413, Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022

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