Search and rescue dogs from across America converge on Virginia Beach

Posted at 9:46 AM, Nov 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 17:13:18-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Search dogs from 17 states are in Virginia Beach this week for a national training event hosted by Superfit Canine.

The training includes opportunities for the dogs and handlers to prepare for real-world situations that require extreme rescue techniques.

"The significance of our dogs is our dogs have 4WD. They are able to transverse piles that we cannot go on," Superfit Canine Co-Founder Eric Darling told News 3's Todd Corillo.

Tuesday, the dogs are rappelling from a fourth-story window and lowered into a scenario where they must locate a trapped victim. The dogs will also be asked to find "live-victims" beneath huge piles of concrete rubble and wrecked cars.

"A parking garage, an office building, an apartment building something like that and then we hide people inside – it looks like a pile of junk but it’s really an engineered pile of junk. So we put this together and there’s hides in there where we can put victims safely," VA Task Force 2 Canine Coordinator Shawn Hall stated.

Later in the week, handlers will be shown how to care for search dogs that have been injured while working at the scene of a disaster and conducting search and rescue operations.