Mesa County Search and Rescue trains new volunteers with K9s

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT/KKCO) -- Saturday morning Mesa County Search and Rescue volunteers strapped on their hiking boots for a day of training.

The team is welcoming seven prospective members, giving the newbies their first opportunity to work with K9s. The dogs are trained to trail or sniff out lost or missing people, and they brush up on their detecting skills every weekend.

Lucas is a Czech Shepherd, once surrendered for his energetic nature. Now, he’s one of the six dogs who spent the morning tracking volunteers through canyons near Whitewater.

“They can take up or be equal to up to 7-10 of our ground team members in space," Donna Tessier, the search and rescue team's K9 trainer said.

"We all do this to make someone’s day better," she continued. "Or provide answers for families. There’s just no better payment whatsoever than finding a child, or an elderly person, who wandered off."

Every member of search and rescue is a highly trained and vetted volunteer. They donate their time, gas, and sometimes even gear to remain at the ready if the sheriff’s office calls.