Proud history of CARDA service on County Sheriff Search and Rescue teams

In California, the Sheriff in each of the 58 counties is responsible for search and rescue (SAR) operations. We are proud to field canine search and rescue teams across 29 counties (see map below) – and assist from the beginning of the search operations. As of 12/1/2023 there are 176 County Sheriff search and rescue team members who are also members of CARDA. Of those 176 who are on sheriff search and rescue team rosters, 161 are currently working certified dogs and additional 15 dogs are in training for certification.

Often the fastest resource for county mutual aid might be a neighboring County SAR resource. Such resources may be dispatched via OES request, or, if there are county to county mutual aid agreements in place may be called directly from one SAR unit to another. Having the correct resources in place in early operational periods may make all the difference in search strategy and operational success.

On behalf of the Calaveras County Sheriffs Office and Search and Rescue Team, please accept our sincere gratitude for responding to Calaveras County to assist in locating a missing individual on September 22, 2023.

The volunteer service of each member of your team, along with your K9 partners, is greatly appreciated. We know your time is valuable and the distance you traveled is noteworthy. We commend the dedication and commitment your team demonstrated during the search.

We want you to know that we value your assistance and wish to acknowledge your experience, hard work, professionalism, and efforts to assist in finding the victim.Thank you for your service

Rick DiBasilio, Calaveras County Sheriff

Annual number of searches where CARDA affiliated canine resources were deployed

As of 1/1/2023 CARDA has 176 resources on 29 County teams tested to CalOES certification standards in:

  • Trailing (ground scent)
  • Air Scent/Area
  • Water human remains recovery
  • Surface and buried human remains
  • Avalanche

During the first week of November, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office’s Search and Rescue Team had a rather extensive search operation for a missing hiker, who was reported to be lost in the Hood Mountain Regional Park.  When the resources of our own search and rescue team had been completely exhausted, we called upon our search and rescue family for assistance…There were so many impressive components to this coordinated effort, I am unable to express how grateful I am to work alongside you and your stellar team of professionals…Thank you for everything you and your agency provided to this family and to our department.

Sgt Brian Kidder
Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office
Search and Rescue Unit

Geographical distribution of CARDA members on county sheriff search and rescue teams. Hover, or click on County for details



Choosing the right canine search and rescue resources

Choosing the right K9 SAR resource for a missing persons case can be daunting. Please review our videos on the home page for demonstrations of their specific skillsets. The Center for Forensic Training & Education has an excellent online course to train agency first responders on the most effective use of Search and Rescue K9s.


Alphabetical listing of county sheriff search and rescue teams represented by CARDA members.

Linked to Search & Rescue team websites, where available

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Just after midnight on Sunday July 3, 2022, we called upon your Canine Search and Rescue (SAR) Team for assistance on a missing person incident in the Lake Solano Park area. This quickly evolved into a large-scale incident search effort, which ran through Sunday July 10, 2022. We very much appreciate the assistance we received from your team. It was apparent that they are well trained and dedicated to community service. Every volunteer who participated brought a positive, professional attitude.

Thomas A. Ferrara
Sheriff-Coroner, Solano County