You smell that? Search and Rescue Dogs do!

By on May 11, 2016

A dog’s sense of smell is almost 10,000 times that of a human. Alexandra Horowitz wrote in her book, Inside of a Dog, that a normal person could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a cup of coffee. A dog could sense a teaspoon in a gallon of water.

Because of their sense of smell, search and rescue (SAR) dogs have been used to help find people in critical situations. SAR dogs are not the same as K-9 Unit dogs from the Police Department. However, they can respond to similar situations.

In Nebraska the most common natural disaster is a tornado. In these situations, SAR dogs are brought in to find either people who may be trapped under rubble or dead. Search and rescue dogs can also help find:

  • A missing person
  • A skier trapped after an avalanche
  • Live people trapped in collapsed buildings
  • Drowning victims
  • The remains of humans


The SAR Unit, Inc. located in Murray, Nebraska has been helping law enforcement in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri for the past 25-years free of charge.

Part of the organizations goal is to educate law enforcement, fire and rescue teams and the general public about SAR dogs by giving presentations, lectures and seminars.

The dogs also provide a number of other services including:

  • Seizure alert
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) support
  • Wheelchair Assist


Because SAR Unit, Inc. is a non-profit they rely on donations from the community to support their trips. To learn more about the SAR Unit, Inc. in Murray, Nebraska you can go here.

Are there search and rescue dogs working with you or in your area? We’d love to know and share more about them! Use our contact page to give us a shout!

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