Local task force trains search and rescue dogs on own time, money

Clay Co. task force trains dogs to find missing people

CLAY COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - The Clay County Task Force has been training dogs for search and rescue missions over the past year.

Training is a regular part of Emma and Duke’s week, getting them ready for any call they might get.

“We are the only organization like ourselves to my knowledge within miles from here that has this capability,” Jeffrey Wolfenbarger, President of the Clay County Task Force, said.

The Clay County Task Force is run entirely on volunteer time and donation.

""We take care of all the search and rescue missions, all the lost missing persons, grain-bin rescues, water rescues," said Wolfenbarger.

The Clay County Task Force has been training dogs for search and rescue missions over the past year.
The Clay County Task Force has been training dogs for search and rescue missions over the past year.

Emma and Duke’s handlers, Robbie Bearden and Terry Hoggard, have spent their own time and money learning how to handle the dogs in these situations.

“It’s a very big responsibility, it kind of makes you nervous,” said Bearden.

Emma and Duke are trained to track off of broken vegetation and specific scents, they’re also capable of doing searches for bodies.

Emma and Duke take care of more than just Clay County.

“We go anywhere asked,” said Wolfenbarger, “We have a responsibility to the public,” said Hoggard.

The dogs have already had success in their year of work.

“A small child was found, an elderly lady who had dementia she was found. So we have had some success,” said Wolfenbarger.

The Clay County Task Force said the first thing you should do if you believe someone is missing is call 911.

If you’re interested in giving to the Clay County Task Force, you can call the Clay County Sheriff’s Department at (870) 595-3096 and ask for Jeffery Wolfenbarger.

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