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January 27, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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January 27, 2010
 

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8A Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 Feather River Bulletin Local rescue dog helps save lives in Haiti The search dog team of Captain Ron Horetski, of the Los Ange- les County Fire Department, and Pearl, a High Sierra Animal Rescue dog, are in Haiti to help with recovery efforts. Photo courtesy Michael Tedesco Photography Pearl, a High Sierra Ani- mal Rescue dog turned search and rescue dog, and her handler, Captain Ran Horetski of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, were part of a task force de- ployed to Haiti Jan. 13. Pearl's journey began in May 2007, wh'en Plumas County Animal Services picked her up as a stray. Al- though Pearl's owner was known and contacted by PCAS, she was never re- claimed. After a month at PCAS, Pearl was transferred to High Sierra Animal Rescue in Portola. Within days of arriving at HSAR, it was obvious Pearl needed a job. Her high drive and energy made her the per- fect candidate for search and rescue• High Sierra Animal Rescue brought in the National Dis- aster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization ded- icated to producing the most highly trained canine disas- ter search teams in the na- tion, to test Pearl's abilities. "Within the first five rain- A Search Dog Foundation team located three girls trapped alive in the of this building in Haiti. Highly trained rescue crews from California took over and extricated the girls from the wreckage. Phot courtesy National Disaster Search Dog Foundation Force 2, Horetski and Pearl were deployed to find victims buried under the rubble left behind by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Jan. 12. The 72-member team, with 70,000 pounds of rescue equipment, arrived in a C-17 Cargo plane as dawn broke over Port-Au-Prince Jan. 14. The next day, one of the SDF search teams located three girls, trapped alive in the rubble• Highly trained rescue crews from CA-TF2 took over and extricated the girls from the wreckage. utes of the testing process, I knew we had a winner," say SDF Canine Manager Karen Klingberg. "I was thrilled with Pearl, which made the 10-hour drive worth every minute. I loaded her up in the van and off we went to Gilroy to begin her formal search dog training•" ]n July 2008, Pearl was as- signed to Horetski. He and Pearl achieved certification with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in May 2009: As part of California Task CA-TF2 resbued a woman from the rubble of her hotel Jan. 17. The appreciation shown by locals for the search teams and their task force was overwhelming. As soon as the woman was pulled from the wreckage, Haitians gathered in the street and began chanting, "U.S.A., U.S.A:, U.S.A." The teams are working long hours, stopping only long enough to let the dogs rest before starting to search again• Once they begin a search operation, they work until the effort is complete. the hunt for survivors: Their well-being is mission-critical." Of the 70 people rescued from beneath the wreckage left behind by the earth- quake, 36 were located by search dogs. "The rescues in Haiti un- derscore the critical impor- tanqe of canine search teams in finding survivors in the af- termath of major disasters• This is our mission, and we're honored to be part of the Haiti rescue effort in con- junction with the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assis- tance and the L.A. County According to Captain Jayd Task Force,,'~d~osch:, Swendseid ~6t!:CAiTF2: ',The: High Sie~a ~al ResCue teams are working 12'hour is no stranger [~ ~earch and rescue. Since 2004, it has suc- cessfully placed four dogs with SDF. "We are very proud to be a part of the search. Our hearts go out to all the people direct- ly and indirectly affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Our thoughts and concerns are with Ran, Pearl and all those who have responded to Haiti's cry for help," said High Sierra Animal Rescue director Karen Neely. shifts so they!can have time to rest and recuperate." SDF Executive Director De- bra Tosch said, "All SDF han- dlers are experts in reading their canineS, pacing them throughout their shift to en- sure the dogsI are kept safe,, healthy and motivated. The canines are literally the task force's most precious tool in We can help ... Call us today: I EATTY SINCE i984 m General Building Contractor Calif• Lie. #453927 (530) 283-2035 LITTL( PEOPLE - Winter- Clearance Sale Starts Today Up to 70% o,F / Bonta St. Bistro Open all Winter ¶ 6 days a week • Closed Wednesdays d New Menu Items 1~ Breakfast- Lunch Beer- Wine k ~.~. _.Jr S36-1497 Ik .~i1_1~ ~0 "Downtown Blairsden" ~~ ENER6Y STAR 530-283-9674