Merryn and Matt qualify as an operational Search Dog team

Merryn and Matt qualify as an operational Search Dog team

Following a rigorous, three-day assessment in the Lake District, we’re pleased to announce that Merryn, and her handler, Matt, are now an operational Mountain Rescue search dog team!

They searched five large and technical areas on mountains around Keswick – in snow, rain, hail, wind and (not frequently) sunshine. The pair found all of the ‘bodies’ hiding out, using Merryn’s air-scenting skills, and had fantastic comments from the experienced assessors.

Throughout their intensive three-year training journey they have shown what a huge asset they will be on call-outs, and it is the first time we have had a qualified dog on our team in West Cornwall since establishing in 2019. They travel the 5-hour round trip to Dartmoor every Sunday for regional training and have also attended a national course around the UK once a month.

The region saw great success this weekend too, with dogs from East Cornwall, Ashburton and North Dartmoor teams making the grade, as well as a team from Calder Valley MRT.

Thank you to all of the Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England graded dog handlers, WCSAR team members and hardy ‘dogsbodies’ for helping Merryn and Matt to reach operational status. And of course Matt’s family for allowing him to leave Cornwall so often for training. They may even spend their first Sunday together in almost 3 years!

Also thank you to Burns Pet Nutrition for providing sponsored fod for Merryn during the training process and operationally going forward.

📷 Images from the assessment weekend in the Lake District. The portrait images courtesy of Mark Harrison from MRSDE.