RICSAR  To Serve so that others may live.

Q: How long does it normally take to train a dog for search work?
A: On average, it takes about two years to train a dog to meet the requirements for basic
operational level. This includes working the dog two to three times a week. The time can
vary greatly depending on the handlers experience and the dog's ability.

Q: What is an Air Scent dog?
A: A dog trained to find/detect any human scent. Air scent dogs are capable of locating
persons that are lost in the wilderness areas or in collapsed structures.

Q: What is a Tracking/ Trailing dog?
A: A dog trained to find/ detect specific human scent (of a specific person).

Q: Do you charge for your services?
A: No, we are a completely volunteer organization. Donations are warmly welcomed

Q: What if I want to join RICSAR? Is this a club? Do I have to have a dog?
A: All of our team members must:
Have a clean criminal record
Be physically able to work under difficult circumstances (weather, terrain, long
duration, etc.)
Be able to devote 6-10 hours a week to training
Attend training sessions for six months prior to becoming a member
Be able to financially cover the cost of uniforms and equipment
Become certified in First Aid/ AED/ CPR
Become certified in Canine First Aid/ CPR
Become certified in Land Navigation using a map, compass, and GPS device other
functions. You do not need to be a dog handler to be an effective member of this
We welcome team members who do not have a dog to help with wilderness
navigation and many organization. Support members are as valuable as dog team

Q: What kind of dog can I train for SAR work?
A: Many breeds are capable of doing SAR work. There are a lot of Labs, German
Shepherds,Belgian Malinois, and Border Collies in SAR, but numerous other breeds
(and mixed breeds) are represented also. Dogs suited for this type of work must have
excellent temperament, not be dog aggressive, have physical stamina, and most
importantly, be easy to motivate (usually with a toy, such as a ball). This "play drive" is
what makes it possible to train these dogs to happily work under difficult  

Q: What is the difference between SAR dogs and police dogs?
A: SAR dogs are trained to locate lost and missing persons and police dogs are trained
to apprehend persons that have escaped or fleeing apprehension.

                                  Links to helpful websites
www.ri.gov : Rhode Island Government The Official Web Site of the State of Rhode
www.risp.ri.gov/directory : Rhode Island State Police, primary call out agency
www.searchdogmovie.com : This is a documentary made about Search dogs
featuring Mathew Zarrella, the man who trained Jim Rawley, Founder of RICSAR
and is still his mentor.
www.apcc.aspca.org : ASPCA
www.tdi-dog.org : Therapy Dog International
www.osvs.net : Emergency veterinary services for Rhode Island & Southern
http://tuftsvets.org : Massachusetts emergency veterinary services
petfinder.com : For Pet Adoptions         
www.ccdogduds.com : CC Digital Dog - Finest Quality SAR K9, Law Enforcement
K9, and Support Dog Products since 1992