Help Law Enforcement Find The Missing

The California Rescue Dog Association/CARDA’s charter from CalOES is to train, certify, and deploy highly-qualified search dog teams to assist law enforcement and other public safety agencies in the search for missing persons.

CARDA search dog teams have participated in thousands of missing person searches. These search dog teams have saved public safety agencies millions of dollars through the use of volunteer resources. All CARDA services provided to requesting agencies, are free of charge. No person or agency is ever charged for CARDA’s services.

Organizational Readiness: Training, Certification and Deployment

CARDA members incur all costs including gas, vehicles, training, equipment, and dog expenses. We rely on donations from the community to continue supplying this vital service. All members are volunteers with specially trained dogs. CARDA teams are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to local, state, and federal law enforcement as well as other public service agency requests.

CARDA provides a radio to each certified team member for field use. Many CARDA members take time off work to participate in searches and training, drive thousands of miles a year, and spend 50 to 100 hours per month for training and searches. CARDA teams participate in hundreds of searches annually either as members of CARDA or while representing their County SAR teams (see chart above).

Fresno County


There are 25 local CARDA training groups all over the state of California. Some training groups are specialized by discipline (trailing, or air scent/area, water) and some are a mix of all together.

Training can take place as a joint exercise with the affiliated County teams in the area. Several times a year WOOF and MBSD participate in CARDA trainings.

Members typically train 16-30 hours a month with their local training group, or regional network of training groups. CARDA members are encouraged to participate in trainings across the state so their dogs are more accustomed to the diverse terrain and search conditions they may be faced on mutual aid missions.

In 2022 there were 1,392 different training sessions across the state, provided by local CARDA training groups.

San Mateo County


California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) sets minimum standards for certification criteria in all canine SAR discipline. For that matter, CalOES sets standard for all SAR disciplines involved in mutual aid. CARDA meets, or exceeds, the CalOES guidelines.

CARDA human remains detection (HRD) teams are evaluated annual to re-certification criteria. Trailing, Air Scent, Disaster and Water HRD are biennial certifications (Per CalEOS)

Evaluators are trained by the organization after they have achieved proficiency in the discipline.


Trinity County

As of February 1, 2023 there are 88 certified CARDA canine teams across the state of California. CARDA is the largest SAR canine organization in the U.S.

The number and distribution of resources allow CARDA to respond with necessary resources in the vast majority of the searches.

Members are volunteers, many are working full-time, but all are on call 24hrs a day, 365 days a year.

If you have an emergency, please dial 9-1-1

CARDA cannot respond individually to families, or non-law enforcement agencies.