The RATS search dog team is one of the most successful in the country with dogs operational in both the areas we train for:
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
Operational USAR search dog teams are members of both NZRT1 and USAR Taskforce Two (CHCH based) but are considered a national resource. As members of TF2 the team have responded to the Cashel Chambers collapse and the Greymouth tornado.
For more information on USAR dogs please also look at www.usardogs.org.nz which is the website of the USAR Search Dog Association.
Land Search and Rescue
Land SAR is the location of people missing in the Wilderness/Bush environment eg trampers, hunters, children or
The team have been deployed for Land SAR operations throughout the South Island and average 5-6 callouts/year.
For more information about Land SAR dogs please also look at www.nzlsar.org.nz
Meet the team
We currently have 4 dog handlers and 8 dogs:
Handler: Brenda Woolley
Dogs: Milo (Operational USAR and Wilderness)
Easy (Operational USAR and Wilderness)
Boss (Operational USAR)
Keepa (in training)
Handler: Graham Joseph
Dogs: Tala (Operational USAR)
Handler: Linda Pike
Dogs: Que (In training)
Handler: Janelle Mackie
Dog: Cairo (Operational USAR)
If you are interested in training a search dog and joining the RATS team please download this pdf.
Please note all members of the Search Dog Team are also members of the RATS team and are required to meet the basic training of RATS team in order to be able to operate in a USAR environment and support RATS work in non search dog events.