The German Shepherd Search dogs of Washington State, Inc. (GSSD) was founded in April, 1968. Article 1, By-Laws states "The object of this corporation shall be to provide, day or night, as a free public service, trained dogs and trained handlers for search and rescue at the request of any official agency, and to provide continuous training and education for members and their dogs to ensure a competent and capable service."
All training is directed toward and predicated on the philosophy that at all times the dog/handler are an asset to the search operation rather than a liability.
The requirements for minimum competency have been revised as follows in order to conform to Chapter 118-04 Washington Administrative Code (WAC).
All personnel involved in GSSD training and search activities (except guests) must read and agree to abide by Chapter 118-04 WAC (Washington Administrative Code), GSSD bylaws and standing rules. A signed form stating the person has read and agrees to abide by Chapter 118-04 WAC, and the GSSD bylaws and standing rules must be on file with the GSSD Board.
All personnel and dogs involved in GSSD training and search activities must be registered as an emergency services worker per Chapter 118-04-080 WAC in order to be eligible for benefits and legal protection under Chapter 38.52 Revised Code of Washington (RCW).
In order to go on searches as a GSSD member, the handler and dog must be determined by the Operation Leaders to fall into at least one of the following categories:
Each handler and dog must consistently show that they meet or exceed the following stated requirements for the appropriate category to the satisfaction of the Operation Leaders (GSSD Board appoints the Operation Leaders). It is the intent of German Shepherd Search Dogs that each handler and dog will continue to improve their skills and not just maintain the minimal level of competency.
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