Bittersweet business for Idaho disaster search dog

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A K9 team from Coeur d'Alene spent 15 days helping search for victims in the massive mudslide that struck Oso, Wash.

Coeur d'Alene Fire Department Capt. Jeff Sells and his 3-year-old black Lab, Otis, are a FEMA-certified search and rescue team.

The mudslide was their first deployment to a disaster area.

Sells says Otis performed well, noting that the search dogs adjusted better than the people because they typically could find better paths to take during the searches.

But he tells the Coeur d'Alene Press that the work was physically demanding on the dogs, a number of which had to be treated for pad injuries.

While finding a body was a sad experience, Sells says there's a sense of accomplishment in being able to give families of victims closure.


Information from: Coeur d'Alene Press