Ireland’s Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA) has welcomed its biggest ever donation through Maxi Zoo giving it a vital lifeline to enable it to continue its important emergency support for missing persons across the country.
The over €28,000 which was raised by Maxi Zoo, Ireland’s largest pet retailer through its Friendship Connects campaign, is more than the charity could ever have expected to raise to fund the specialist training and essential equipment it needs for its dogs in training.
SARDA is a voluntary emergency organisation that trains and deploys Air Scenting Search and Rescue Dogs to search for missing persons. The charity’s dog teams, which consist of a handler and their dog, are tasked by An Garda Siochana, the Civil Defence, Irish Mountain Rescue, Red Cross, Coast Guard etc. to search mountains, woodlands, rural and urban areas, waterways as well as the seashore to locate accident or disaster victims.
Edelle Doherty of SARDA explained what the significant donation from Maxi Zoo means to the charity: “We are immensely grateful for the support Maxi Zoo has provided us – this funding will allow us to do more training, upgrade our equipment, which we wouldn’t have been able to do this year without it,” she stated.
“It will also allow us to expand our charity over the coming years which is incredible.”
Noelle Long from Maxi Zoo added: “Maxi Zoo is committed to supporting the work of animal charities. We are very proud that our Friendship Connects, Together for Pets campaign, which is supported by our wonderfully generous customers, will make such a difference to not just SARDA but the people and families that are supported by the incredible emergency service the charity provides.
Rescue dogs come from a wide range of breeds and are trained in a variety of behaviours. Just one dog can do the work of 50 human searchers. Search and Rescue Dogs play a vital role in search and rescue missions and are invaluable when it comes to finding lost and trapped victims.
Funding is hugely important to ensuring adequate training is acquired for the SAR dog and their handler. A proficient SAR dog needs lots of training, starting with basic obedience skills. Then SAR dogs learn how to hunt for human scent, signal their handlers, and behave appropriately in stressful situations.
For more information visit maxizoo.ie