Online push for missing people search dog service

The Search Dog Heroes website explains how dogs can be used to track those with dementia who go missing from home.

Joe Lepper | 25th Sep 18

A website has launched to promote a new service where search and rescue dogs are deployed to find vulnerable people with dementia who go missing.

The project is a joint collaboration between two charities: Missing People, which supports the families of those who go missing, and Lowland Rescue, which provides search and rescue support to emergency services.

The service has been funded through a £1m People’s Postcode Lottery grant and involves training 100 search dogs who are specially equipped for searching for vulnerable people.

The Search Dog Heroes website is aimed at carers of those with dementia and offers more information about how a person’s scent can be stored and used by the dogs to help search and rescue teams find the direction a missing person may have travelled in.

Scent kits latest innovation in missing people searches

Through specially designed ‘scent kits’ the persons details are stored along with their scent.

“We understand that people living with dementia are at great risk of going missing. We’ll be educating members of the public who have a vulnerable loved one in how to prepare for this devastating moment so that the search can be launched quickly and with the very best resources at hand,” said Karen Robinson, Director of Partnerships and Development at Missing People.

“A fast-acting and accurate search could, in some cases, literally be the difference between life and death.”

Paul Lewis, Lowland Rescue Chair, says the scent kits are the latest in a series of innovations in helping find missing people, which also includes using drones.

“Lowland Rescue has been operating for over 25 years.  Over this time we have pioneered many firsts and new ideas in the UK Search & Rescue environment,” he said.

“Be this the use of drones, the creation of a Lowland Rescue first responder medical qualification, or development of national standards for all teams.”