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Search and Rescue Handlers

Jessica Harvey

Jessica is a Vet at Clarendon House Veterinary Centre, Chelmsford, Essex and she and her male Rhodesian Ridgeback, Skollie, belong to Lowlands Search Dogs Kent.

About Lowland Search Dogs Kent

Lowland Search Dogs (LS Dogs) is a non-profit, voluntary organisation formed in November 2002. The Kent unit (Lowland Search Dogs Kent) formed in 2009. ‘Lowland' includes farmland, forests, open downland and any other area that does not require specialist mountain rescue experience. We work alongside the Kent Search and Rescue team and our handlers are also members of Kent Search and Rescue.

We can only take part in searches at the invitation of Kent Police and Kent Search and Rescue. We are available free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our primary role is to assist in locating lost or missing vulnerable people within Kent and its surrounding areas. Lowland Search Dogs Kent is entirely reliant on sponsorship and donations to exist and carry out its work. Our team is made up entirely of volunteers who (together with their dogs) undergo constant training and must meet rigorous standards in order to obtain operational status. Our dog handlers and support staff have to fit this in around having full time occupations.

One of the greatest benefits of Lowland Search Dogs is the ability to call upon a large national resource at short notice. For example, if a young child goes missing, the local dog unit can immediately call for the services of all the other teams, thus increasing the professional search resources available to the police.

Lowland Search Dogs Kent oversees the training of our own dogs and the national LS Dogs organisation assesses each dog before they can become operational. Our dogs are re-assessed every 2 years to ensure our high standards are maintained. It can take approximately one year to train a dog to the first operational level with a further 4-6 months to move on to the second operational level. After these basic standards have been accomplished, each dog handler can choose to train their dog in additional search techniques, such as water searches.

How did you become involved?

"Discovered Skollie had a talent for ‘scent' work at ‘All About Dogs' at the NSARDS CanTech stand and asked to attend a ‘suitability' to train day at which he did very well. We then started search and rescue dog training very seriously.”

What is your most memorable success?

"Skollie finding his first ‘missing' person and telling me where they were when I did not know (in a training session).”

What other successes have you had?

"Skollie came fourth in a class at the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of GB show 2 years ago. He also passed his bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen Award.”

"Natural, healthy, tasty food at a very reasonable price. What more could you want from your dog's favourite food?” Jessica Harvey

For more information visit the team's website: www.lowlandsearchdogskent.co.uk.

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Joanna Hewelt

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Jessica Harvey

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(You are on this page).

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CSJ User Profiles

Kathrin Tasker

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Kathrin’s Search Dog Winnie received a commendation from the police for saving the life of a missing girl.

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