dog

Welcome to the new AZSTaR Website!

Welcome to the Website of Arizona Search Track and Rescue, Inc. (AZ STaR)
AZ STaR is a group of very talented and passionate search and rescue professionals that are dedicated to locating missing persons as well providing for the advancement, educationally and scientifically, of the search and rescue profession and utilization of canines within this profession.
If available, AZ STaR will provide trained search dogs, trained K-9 handlers, trained support personnel, and trained search management personnel for search and rescue of persons lost, trapped or incapacitated, upon request of any official agency or individual requesting through proper guidelines, day or night, within the state of Arizona or outside state lines if requested, under any and all conditions where dogs can efficiently operate.
AZ STaR also provides continuous training and education for dogs, K-9 handlers, search management, and support personnel to improve and develop capabilities to ensure highly competent and capable search and rescue dog teams and operations.
We also work to promote a greater appreciation for using search dogs for wilderness, water, cadaver, bone identification, evidence, and disaster searches.

 

Please contact us at 623-878-9149 (Office) for scheduling Educational Events or Volunteer Inquiries

FOR EMEGENCIES Please contact us on our Pager at 888-307-3799

 

 

IMG_0060

Help Support AZ STaR

As a federally approved 501-C-3 non-profit, AZ STaR exists solely on the generous donations that it recieves from private and corporate donations.  Unfortunately, these do not even begin to cover the expenses of training, equipment and mission responses that are endured by our Volunteer Members. Nor does it cover the cost of the Educational literature and programs that we provide to the Public and other Agencies all at NO CHARGE.   Please assist us by making a donation today or participating in one of our upcoming Fundraising Events.
Join us for a PAWRaising car wash and visit with the Canines of AZ STaR while your car is being washed by their handlers (the one time that the handler will have to work harder than the pups).  See our Event Calendar for Dates, Times and locations.
Purchase STaR K9-Collector Card sets featuring 10 individual K9-s of AZ STaR.
IMG_0801

Do you, Can you, Would you?

After many of the tragic events that we see portrayed on the news, AZ STaR gets a slew of inquiries from people who are wanting to help.  We have therefore developed this post to assist you in getting some preliminary information regarding Search and Rescue with AZ STaR
Do you, Can you, Would you? 
* Have a desire to wander through the desert under the stars, at night, looking for clues and/or missing persons.
* Would you like to wander through the desert carrying about 30 lbs. of gear and water.
* Don’t mind being awakened at 1:00 am for a search call-out.
* Can pack enough gear into 2 large bags for 4 days in the mountains or desert.
* Can brush your teeth, put on make-up and comb your hair with your signal mirror.
* Can cat-nap anywhere, through any noise, under any conditions (rain or shine).
* Know how to make a tent with a garbage bag and a piece of rope.
* Would like to be part of a Team effort and enjoy working with Dogs.
* Can and would climb any mountain to get reception to make a phone call.
* Your definition of a fun time is seeing what you can survive.

 

If you think that you meet any of the requirements above, AZ STaR is looking for you.  Please contact us immediately.  For more information, please read the attached Membership Guide as it provides additional information regarding Membership with AZ STaR.

 

Membership Guide Rev. Aug 16, 2012

 

Thank you for Supporting AZ STaR

The Members and K9’s of Arizona Search Track and Rescue wish to thank those individuals/Companies that helped make our recent fundraising effort a HUGE Success.

Bass Pro Shops  and The Tasting Room – Peoria for supporting us by allowing us to sell raffle tickets at your locations.

K9-Games, Shooters World, and BudgetPetExpress.com for donating the prizes that made our event a success

A big Thank you to all of those that purchased raffle tickets and/or made donations – without you our volunteers would have a much more difficult time carrying out our mission of “Saving Lives”

We also appreciate your patience with us in getting in touch with you as we were conducting a search on the day of and the day after we conducted the actual raffle.

The following individuals won prizes:

 TV – Ms. Susan Folwer
GPS – Joyce Crissmon
Darrin CHango – SHooters World Membership
Bob Duke – iPad
Jim Mann – Shooters World Membership
 
Rodger Blanchard – Trading Card Set                         Micheal Stephens –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Courtney Redd – Trading Card Set                              Josh Nies –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Jolene Schlichter – $25.00 Gift Card                            Micheal Stephens –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Wayne Leminger  $25.00 Gift Card                             Nicolle Moretti $50.00 Gift Card
Sally Lukens – $25.00 Gift Card                                   Daniel Boucher $50.00 Gift Card
Joanna Reese – “Get Lost” T-Shirt                              Brett Rawleigh –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Vicki Campbell – “Get Lost” T-Shirt                             Louis Chappel – Trading Card Set
Bonnie Fry $25.00 Gift Card                                       Sherry King –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Colleen Berry –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt                              Tasha Miller –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Suzanne French –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt                         Sharon Gilbert –  “Get Lost” T-Shirt
Stephanie Bradley – Trading Card Set                        Godget Grant – Trading Card Set
 
*  If we have not been in touch with you regarding your prize, please contact us at 623-878-9149.
 

 

 

 

American Belgian Tervuren Club Announces

The Officers and Board of Directors of the American Belgian Tervuren Club are proud to share the news that member Kristi Smith and her Tervuren, Keahi, have won the AKC’s 2012  ACE Award for Search & Rescue.

During her career with Arizona Search Track and Rescue, seven-year-old Keahi (key-ah-hee; Hawaiian for “fire”)  has proved to be durable, versatile, and uncannily accurate. Certified in air-scent, avalanche, cadaver, evidence, and human-remains searches, the in-demand Terv has answered the call in nine states and Canada. She and Smith conduct approximately 43 searches a year, logging between 91 and 126 work days a year–a strenuous pace for any search team. Smith and Keahi have found lost children and wandering seniors, led investigators to the bodies of murder victims and those who have drowned (including one find 170 feet under water), and recovered key evidence in criminal investigations.

 

Congratulations to Kristi Smith and Keahi.

 

More information on the ACE Awards and Keahi can be found at

http://www.akc.org/press_center/article.cfm?article_id=4729

Group brings wealth of experience to search for the missing

 
Tempe Town Lake searchTim Hacker/Tribune

Tempe Town Lake search

The Tempe Fire Department searches in Tempe Town Lake after dogs from Arizona Search Track and Rescue found the scent of a missing person Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011.

         

By Dan Zeiger, TribuneEast Valley Tribune

With a police dive team in the water behind him, Jerry “Kelly”Snyder stood near the edge of Tempe Town Lake on Thursday and watched with intense, impatient eyes.

The retired federal agent and associate member of Arizona Search, Track and Rescue watched as the crew worked under the Scottsdale Road bridge, the focal point of a search for Willie Jigba, a 24-year-old man that had been missing since Jan. 16.

“I think he’s in here,” Snyder said, turning toward the water.“I just don’t know where. I mean, where else would he be?”

Snyder’s suspicions appeared to be validated on Friday, when Tempe police announced the recovery of a man matching Jigba’s description from the water west of the Scottsdale Road bridge. Police indicated that information from Arizona Search Track and Rescue, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization whose members boast years of law-enforcement experience, was vital in the find.

The group of about 28 members and 22 search dogs has worked about 40 cases a year, at the behest of law-enforcement agencies and families, since it was formed in 1998. Arizona Search Track and Rescue has assisted Mesa police in the search for Hugh Turner, an 85-year-old man who has been missing since Christmas Eve.

Search coordinator Kristi Smith has no law-enforcement experience, having learned the trade while in the Kentucky Search Dog Association, a similar volunteer organization.

“Police know that we are out there to utilize if they need our assistance,” Smith said. “We are another resource that can be used. …

“I enjoy working with the dogs. I enjoy the challenges. There is a big reward in the community-service aspect of it. As a mother and a sister, if one of my loved ones was missing, I would want as many people as possible looking for them.”

Snyder stressed that Arizona Search Track and Rescue does not compete with law enforcement agencies, who typically have no more than a handful of search dogs. Rather, the organization complements the police work.

In the Jigba case, dogs picked up a human scent at Town Lake.

“A couple of agencies don’t use us because they think we want to compete with them. That’s not the case at all,” said Snyder, whose own search organization, Find Me, has partnered with Arizona Search Track and Rescue since 2003. “Call us up; we have 22 dogs. Why come with one or two dogs when you can add eight or 10 more?

“We’re professionals — retired cops, feds, everyone is dedicated. We got no money for what we do, so it’s all for the right reasons that we’re here.”

In January 2004, Arizona Search Track and Rescue was summoned to aid in the hunt for Pedro Corzo, a 35-year-old Del Monte produce executive who disappeared while visiting farms near Dateland. After just two hours of searching, Corzo’s vehicle was located a half-mile from a road in a remote area of western Maricopa County.

About 45 minutes after that, Corzo’s buried body was found by Smith’s dog. Later, three Missouri men were charged with his murder.

“There are more that we find what we are looking for than we don’t,” Smith said. “The live finds are the most rewarding, of course. But if it turns out to be a homicide, in some cases, we can help bring law enforcement the information they need to charge somebody with a crime.”

The organization usually does training exercises four times a week. Smith and her colleagues spend much time fundraising to pay for training and equipment.

But those financial realities, Smith said, have not impacted the group’s readiness.

“If it is a quick call-out, we start sending teams as they become available — two or three to start, then others,” Smith said.“We have people around the state that have to get off work and travel, which can take time.

“But when someone needs to be found, we try to get as many people on the team rounded up for the long haul.”

IMG_0066

Arizona Search and Rescue Dog Honored

Peoria Dog Collars National Award for Rescue Work

By NICK COTE, DAILY NEWS-SUNYour West Valley

Through a mix of hard work, dedication and some anonymous fans, Keahi, a 7-year-old Belgian Tervuren and her owner Kristi Smith won the American Kennel Club’s Award for Canine Excellence in the search and rescue category.

Smith, a professional dog trainer from Peoria, was unaware that they had even been nominated and was taken aback when she found out they’d won the national award.

“I’ve worked nine search-and-rescue dogs, but she’s a special girl. I almost cried when they told me she’d won,” she said. “I’m honored that someone thought so highly of her.”

Smith is a member of Arizona Search Track and Rescue. She has worked with search and rescue dogs for 27 years and logs around 43 searches annually with Keahi, who is certified in air-scent, avalanche, cadaver, evidence and human remains searches. The duo has traveled to nine states as well as Canada to help law enforcement and other search and rescue agencies.

“They’re a really valuable resource that I think is underutilized,” Smith said. “Every day I’m amazed at their capabilities. There is no scent game you can play to trick them.”

It takes more than 2,000 hours of training to prepare a search-and-rescue dog for certification, plus ongoing training and exercise to keep them sharp.

Despite the effort, these dogs aren’t all work and no play.

“At the end of the day no matter how long they’ve been working they just want to jump up and lick your face,” Smith said.

Posted in        ,                        on                     Tuesday, October 2, 2012 11:30 am.