Training with Winona County Sheriff's Department, Winona Dive Team  and Sunshine Search & Rescue K9 Unit 

Roger and K9 Mikey on Coast Guard boat on Lake Superior for search. 


What we do:

The Search & Rescue K-9 Unit searches under the direction of Law Enforcement and Emergency Service Agencies. It's our goal to provide the services of well trained search and rescue dogs and handlers.

The Sunshine Search & Rescue K-9 Unit is available for mock drill trainings and demonstrations.


SAR dogs can find: 

Children lost in the wilderness, parks, or hidden in shrubs around houses. 

Disorientated elderly who have wandered away from homes and hospitals. 


Hikers and hunters lost in the woods. 

Victims in drowning accidents.

How SAR Dogs work:
All humans alive or dead, constantly emit microscopic particles bearing human scent. Millions of these are airborne and are carried by the wind for considerable distances.   

  • The tracking SAR dogs will follow step by step of the victims trail. The dog wears a harness and work on a lead.  


  • The trailing SAR dogs cover more ground faster than the tracking dog and can cut short loops where the track doubles back on itself (like a lost person walking in circles).

  • The air scenting SAR dogs are trained to locate the scent of any human scent in a specific area. They work with their head held high, except for sifting through debris in a disaster situation, or searching for avalanche or drowning victims.

    • Scent: SAR dogs are trained to work with our without a scent article. Without a scent article they are searching for any human scent rather than for a specific individual.

      Search dogs can work in areas where other searches have been, however it is preferred to search an uncontaminated area; they are able to work with other search resources. Using scent articles, they can discriminate for the missing person in heavily populated areas. they can work: day or night, in most kinds of weather; and are especially effective where human sight is most limited (in the dark, in dense or heavy brush, and under water).

      Experts estimate that a single SAR K-9 team can be as effective as 20-30
      trained human searcher in locating missing persons in a given period of time.

      Searches: After initial hasty searches of trails and paths, each dog/handler team is usually assigned to the search area to cover systematically. Handlers work their dogs down wind of the sections assigned to them or cover the area in a way that provides dogs with the best coverage. Handlers map the area they have covered and report their POD (probability of detection) to the operations manager upon completing their assignments.

      SAR dogs teams search under the direction of law Enforcement and Emergency Service Agencies. SAR teams will not respond to request by private individuals.

      The Sunshine Service Dogs, Inc., Search & Rescue K-9 Unit consists of well trained and socialized dogs. Our handlers are required to be trained in First Aid, CPR, Map and Compass, Search Strategy and Radio Communications.

      SAR K-9's are trained for scent discrimination therefore when a scent article is available, they are a valuable tool, enabling them to with  multiple resources without concerns of contamination in the search area. SAR k-9's are best if called in early on the search, but can be effective days or weeks afterwards.

      The Sunshine Service Dogs, Inc., has SAR K-9's trained to track, trail, or air-scent;
      are trained to search in wilderness and urban settings
      along with cadaver searches both water (drown victims) and on land.

      When someone is reported lost or overdue, SAR dog/handler teams are available to respond day or night to help in search efforts.

      EMERGENCY CALL OUT (715) 857-5095 

      Cell (715) 553-1906





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      “But ask the animals and they will teach you.”

      Job 12:7 NIV