Not only is there a current huge campaign to help with this urgent appeal, but they are always fund raising, as all equipment, rent, etc has to be bought, maintained and replaced. The group is run 24/7 by unpaid volunteers.
People assume that dog rescue groups are just for the mountains. Wrong! Berkshire's group is part of the Lowlands Search and rescue group, and who help the police with the locating of missing or lost vulnerable people within Berkshire and surrounding areas. Berkshire SAR Dogs became a registered charity in the UK in March 2004 and is entirely reliant on sponsorship and donations to exist and carry out its work. The Team is made up entirely of volunteers who (together with their dogs) undergo constant training and must meet rigorous standards in order to obtain operational status. Dog handlers and support staff have to fit this in around having full time occupations also.
Berkshire SAR Dogs currently has approximately 30 human and 20 K9 volunteers as full time members of the Team. All types of dog breeds are considered on their merits but not all are suitable. They currently have several operational Border Collies as well as a selection of training Labradors, Springer Spaniels and other breeds and cross breeds.
Lowland Search Dogs was formed in November 2002 as an organisation to set the standards, and give a unified approach, for search dog teams based away from mountainous areas. This enabled a training standard to be agreed and set amongst the member teams, and afforded national representation and recognition among the SAR community. The setting up of LS Dog was initiated by the Association of Lowland Search & Rescue (ALSAR)
Berkshire SAR Dogs was initially formed in 2002, in the wake of the creation of LS Dogs. Initially with very few members and dogs and known as “Lowland Search Dogs – Thames Valley” due to the necessity for clarity, the team was re-named Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs in 2004. The main aim of the team still remains the same today; to assist the police to locate lost or missing vulnerable people, in essence:
Now here comes the Duck and Dog bit. I am always game for a challenge. When I am moved into action to support something I passionately believe in my grey matter smokes with the flurry of ideas to help.
I have a young saluki lurcher, Penny aka Duckpooch, who is full of energy. I am new to running and it would be brilliant to have her run with me as a companion but also to help release some of her energy so I get some sleep at night! I will now teach her to run on her lead, by my side, to participate in some races, as a fundraiser for Berkshire Search & Rescue Dogs. I will be in my Fibroduck suit as always raising the profile of fibromyalgia but Penny can wear the orange vest with the Berkshire Search & Rescue logo printed on it. I couldn't dedicate the time to be a part of the Berkshire SAR, and Penny certainly wasn't of the right calibre to be a SAR dog. She was more of a Search and Bolt dog. This is how we can help, using our own distinct talent.
Team Duck n Dog has evolved!
I shall be researching and reviewing the website Cani-x who organise races for owners and their dogs- canine cross country running! There are rules and regulations so I have got some night time reading. Plus there are specialist running harnesses and leads for the comfort and safety of the running dog. My wallet may need to come out of the safe!
It appeals to me to involve Penny and enter in the Cani-x races with her as we both love being off-trail and in the mud. The best way to fund raise, and for such an excellent cause! hopefully there are a few of you out there who would like to give Canicross a try too, and for the berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs.
Watch my Events page grow!!!