(WLNS) – One rescue dog taken in and cared for, is now training to rescue others and save lives.
What started as a simple trip to Petsmart for dog food, turned into the start of a brand new life for rescue dog Zephyr.
“By the end of the day we had a new dog and there was no plans for it really,” Dog owner and trainer Adam Kelly said.
She was 6 months old at the time, and wasn’t in the best shape.
“She was really underweight so we weren’t even sure if she was a mix, she was just emaciated and malnourished,” Kelly said.
The Kelly’s quickly noticed she had a lot of energy, a trait they say can make it hard for dogs to find a home.
“There’s many dogs that are in shelters that people see as unfit for adoption but they probably would make great working dogs,” Kelly said.
They decided to put their new pup’s energy to good use.
Michigan search and rescue is a 2 year program that trains dogs to find missing people, human remains and items.
“Everything that we do is all volunteer, everything is out of our own pocket, we never charge for a search,” Kelly said.
The program started in 2006 with just 8 people. They work with local law enforcement across the state, sometimes after local officials have ended their investigation.
Dogs that graduate can be an essential part of missing person cases.
“Without a recovery there is no life insurance, there’s no benefits, there’s no nothing,” Michigan search and rescue trainer and founder Dave Holcomb said.
Zephyr will be finished with her training in 6 months and will be used as an air sent dog, which means she can smell any missing person, ending ongoing and unanswered cases.