Give… so that others may live!

As was evident after the tragedy of 9/11 and other major man-made and natural disasters, it is critical that we maintain the resource of highly-trained disaster search dog teams in our community and our nation. Whether dog handler or support personnel, all the members of NDSD feel a strong commitment to our mission and freely volunteer our time as we consistently strive to increase our level of expertise. On average, our dog handlers train over 400 unpaid hours per year, in addition to our regular day jobs!

How can you help? You can:

  • Make a donation
  • Provide a training site
  • Volunteer to hide for our dogs at training
  • Become a member

Join the search!


Interested applicants should contact NDSD’s membership coordinator to begin the application process. Please send an email to, noting your interest in applying. In your email, please mention whether you would like to join as a canine handler or as a support person.

Orientation session

dragonAn orientation session is held about once a year to every two years to describe NDSD’s mission, training, and expectations to interested persons. At that session, those who would like to apply for membership will fill out an NDSD application, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management Worker application and Pierce County Sheriff background check. NDSD’s Board will then consider all applicants and invite those who are qualified to an interview and canine testing, as appropriate. The interview and canine testing will generally be held within a few weeks of the orientation session. We encourage applying without a dog. There are plenty of skills to learn for the candidate member and experienced NDSD members are more than willing to assist with finding a suitable search dog candidate when the time is come to get a dog!

Applications are reviewed by the Board

If it is determined by the Board that the match between NDSD and the applicant appears to be promising, the applicant may then join as a Candidate Member, paying initial dues of $25 for their first year. Following a six-month probationary period during which the member must attend 90% of regularly scheduled NDSD training and meetings, the entire membership of NDSD will vote on acceptance to Full Member. Acceptance will be based on the attitude and work ethic of the handler, as well as the progress and potential of the dog. If you think NDSD is for you, we’d be glad to have you apply! Click here for the NDSD Application Form (PDF document)
Cooper on Slash 2016Cody Walking the PileCassia at Crisis City 2016Kersee 2016