Saskatoon Search and Rescue (SSAR) has welcomed a furry new weapon to its team.
Jenga is the first certified civilian search and rescue dog in Saskatchewan.
The three-year-old golden retriever and her handler Kate Dean spent the past two years training in Edmonton with the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta (SARDAA) and successfully completed their certification this past August.
SARDAA is a volunteer, non-profit group of dogs and handlers who serve the community in times of emergency or disaster.
Jenga is what’s called a live search dog. Her job is to locate missing people faster, and over a larger area.
“She can work in open fields, forests, prairies, she can work here along the riverbank, she can work in wide open green spaces so things like Diefenbaker Park, golf courses as well as areas like back alleys or the larger buildings we have,” Dean said on Wednesday.
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Dean and Jenga may now be utilized when SSAR is activated by the Saskatoon Police Service for a missing persons search. Police said having Jenga as a resource is invaluable.
SSAR has been called out 28 times this year, 17 of those calls were in Saskatoon.