For legal, operational, and safety reasons, CARDA can only respond to search and rescue mission requests through our sponsor, the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), at the request of the responsible public safety agency.
CARDA cannot deploy on search missions at the request of family or friends of the missing person.
Any emergency around the state which might require a search and rescue response should be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency (call 911). All requests for CARDA search dog teams must come from the state, county, or local agency (police, fire, ranger, etc.), through the State of Cal OES Law Enforcement Division. The 24-hour phone number for the Cal OES Hotline is 916-845-8911 (for public safety agencies only). The following information is helpful in determining CARDA’s response to a request:
- Location and type of terrain in the search area (urban or wilderness, elevation, steepness, etc.)
- Type of search: lost person, drowning, cadaver, avalanche or disaster
- In the case of missing persons:
- How long has the subject been missing?
- Is an item belonging to the subject available at the scene?
- Who is the contact person who can provide more information on the missing person’s background?