Civil Defence K9 Unit welcome new dogs and introduces first fully trained female handler

by Gazette Reporter
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The Civil Defence K9 Unit announced that they have recently added two new search dogs to their Victim Recovery Unit. 

Civil Defence K9 Unit are also pleased to announce the recent qualification of their first female dog handler, Karen Kelly. 

Civil Defence is a volunteer-based organisation that supports frontline emergency services. They also assist local communities and have approximately 2,500 volunteer members throughout Ireland. 

The first search dog was acquired in 2006, and as of March 2023, Civil Defence has four search dog teams based in Dublin, Meath, and Tipperary. 

Picture shows Paul Byrne, 3rd Officer, with his dog Misty.

These comprise One Air-Scenting dog used in searching for live persons, and four Victim Recovery Dogs used in searches for deceased persons. These dogs regularly assist An Garda Síochána in missing person’s searches throughout the State. 

The volunteer search dog handlers have shown great commitment to this work over the years. Most recently in January 2023 Meath Volunteer Handler Karen Kelly and her Victim Recovery Dog, Rossi qualified after a year-long training programme which included 150 hours of guided training from a National Association of Specialist Dog Users (NASDU) recognised body. It culminated in her being awarded a Level 3 Certificate NASDU, U.K., which is a Highfield Awarding Body Centre (HABC).

Picture: Maxwells

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