SPOKANE, Wash.—A local search and rescue team pairs K-9s and their owners in missions to recover missing persons.
The Intermountain Search Dogs organization can receive a call any time of the day, and dogs search for humans presumed alive or human remains.
The team includes 11-year-old search dog Max and his owner, Robyn Moug, who joined ten years ago. Most recently, Max found 78-year-old Wilma Robertson, who went missing in Fairfield, Washington.
“I don’t know if we would have found her if it hadn’t been for him, because we were headed back to the command post. And he’s like, ‘No!’ He just took off down the hill. It was amazing,” Moug said.
Search and rescue work is a full-time commitment. After a decade on the job, Max and Moug train five to six days a week. The Intermountain Search Dogs train twice a month.
“We’re out there to bring closure in cases, or we’re out there to bring that person home in the live finds – it really becomes a part of you. It’s giving back to the community,” Moug said.
Moug recognized early on that Max had the perfect qualities for a search dog but describes him as “a little odd.”
“To be a search dog, you have to be kind of on that edge and be obsessive and that really describes him. He’s a very intense dog,” Moug said. “But he is a workaholic, and he will work all day long for his toy. He’s got all of the qualities a search dog needs. The hunt drive, the prey drive, everything that makes up the package to become a search dog.”
The Intermountain Search Dogs runs entirely on donations, and often asks for support at the fair or other community events. Search dogs and their owners must go through tests and trainings to join.