In the news

Search-Dog support from HF Holidays

November 17, 2021

This week, the Search & Rescue Dogs Association Wales (SARDA Wales) was very pleased to announce a £5k donation from the HF Holidays Pathway Fund to help fund key projects. 

SARDA Wales is a voluntary organisation that trains and operates search dogs for use in conjunction with Search & Rescue operations in mountain, rural and urban settings.  

SARDA Wales chair Tim Sherlock explained the request for funding “In order to create realistic scenarios for search-dog training, volunteer human targets, our “Dogs-Bodies,” sit out for many hours at a time, awaiting discovery. Waiting long periods of time in a mountainous environment can be an uncomfortable experience for the unprepared, so to keep our Bodies safe, we provide them with waterproofs, a mat to sit on, a waterproof “bivy-bag” to lay in, a rucksack to carry it all in, and a VHF radio so we can contact them, even when they are in hiding. A training weekend would typically see 8-10 Bodies helping out each day, so we need to hold a large supply of kit, and it all needs to be in tip-top condition. Equipment such as this is easily damaged in the environments to which it is put, and replacement is an ongoing expense. The donation from HF holidays will provide 5 complete new sets of Dog’s-Body equipment.” 

“There was a second strand to our funding request” continued Tim. “On a number of recent searches, Dog-Teams have found themselves working on the water’s edge during river bank searches, and this has raised questions over water safety. The donation will provide 2 lightweight lifejackets life-jackets for use by dog-handlers when deployed in these circumstances.” 

“Like many other organisations, our usual fundraising activities over the last couple of years were largely curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, yet the need for search dogs has remained throughout. We know that there are many equally deserving charities looking for funding and as such are particularly grateful that HF chose to support us.”