ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (FOX 13) - They may look like a motley crew of canines, but when a loved one is lost or missing they could be the best friend you have. The Peace River K-9 Search and Rescue Team is capable of conducting full search operations for 72 hours in just about any weather condition.
You could say they've turned search and rescue into a science.
"We came up with as many techniques and strategies as we could, which includes the dogs. We also have the horses and the drones," said Peace River team president Michael Hadsell
But what makes the team so special is they're all volunteers who hold other jobs. Even the dogs pull double-duty as family pets and lifesavers.
"The usual story I get is, they come in, they have a dog and they say, 'He needs a job because he's tearing up the couch he's getting in the trash,'" Hadsell explained.
And that's when he goes to work. Each animal gets four months of training in what's called Live Find - finding a living person - and also in remains recovery.
Peace River averages between 40 to 60 volunteers. Although they don't get any federal funding and operate on donations, Hasdell says the organization has been so successful many law enforcement agencies have adopted their approach.
They're men and women from many backgrounds, but what brings them together is one thing.
"I've had several mothers, crying mothers on my shoulders who have said 'bring my kid home.' the pressure of that is always on you." Hadsell said.
LINK: To find out more about the organization and how to volunteer, visit https://www.prsar.org/