“Lostproofing” Program


“Lostproofing” Your Kids: New England K-9 SAR has a strong commitment to educating children and adults about how to be safe in the woods. We talk to children about how to “lostproof” themselves.; and if they get lost, how to stay safe. And of course, the dogs enjoy showing off their nosey talents!  You may contact us to arrange for one of our members to come to your school, camp, or youth group meeting to give a presentation that includes a DVD/video, woods safety discussion and search demonstration with one of our dogs. Each child and adult leaves with a reminder handout of the important ways to avoid getting lost and what to do if you should become lost.

Our members use a 12-minute video called, Lost but Found Safe and Sound™ (produced by the Association of National Park Rangers). This 12-minute, professionally produced video is designed to show children, ages 4-12, what to do if they become lost in remote areas such as parks or forests. It follows the actions and thinking of 7-year-old Kelly, who sets out on a long-awaited hike on a beautiful day in the woods with her parents and brother. She runs ahead, gets separated from the rest of the family and becomes lost.

“Kelly initially panics and runs aimlessly looking for her family. She then realizes she is lost, and she begins to recall the time a park ranger came to her school and explained what to do in this kind of situation. Gradually, as day turns to night, Kelly takes the appropriate actions and spends the night alone in her “nest” in the woods.

The next morning she is found safe and sound by Leni the search dog and his handlers, Brooke and Marion. Although cold, Kelly is fine because she remembered what to do to keep herself safe until she is found.”

The video was produced by the National Park Service Interpretive Design Center at Harpers Ferry. It is set in Shenandoah National Park, but it is appropriate for any geographic setting.

After showing the video, our NEK-9 SAR presenter asks the children to review what happened to Kelly – what she did that got her lost and how she helped herself stay safe until searchers found her.

After this discussion, the presenter also talks about how we use our dogs as part of the total search effort. Then we do a demonstration outside and show all the kids how the search dog can find a lost person.

Our presenters can tailor the presentation to children and adults at all levels of experience and understanding.

This presentation includes information on the hikeSafe “There and Back” safe-hiker education program sponsored by NH Fish & Game and the US Forest Service.

Click here to read how some Brownie Girl Scouts used what they learned after attending one of our presentations.

Click here for PDF version of our handout, which requires the free Adobe Reader™)

General Public


We offer an entertaining and educational PowerPoint and live demonstration of Airscent Search Dogs to general audiences. Whether you are a charitable or business organization or a senior center, the pictures, search stories and of course the dogs make a great 45 – 60 minute program. There is no charge (though a donation of any amount is most appreciated). Please contact us at info@nek9sar.org for more detailed descriptions and to schedule a date.

The following is a description of our general public presentation:

New England K-9 Search & Rescue: How a volunteer K-9 Search and Rescue Group Saving Lives in New Hampshire and Vermont for 30 Years

A member of New England K-9 Search & Rescue will lecture and then demonstrate how airscent search dogs work. The lecture includes a PowerPoint show of the search dogs and their handlers performing during real searches and training. The lecture and images explain how we use positive reinforcement techniques to train the dogs to hunt for the lost person on land, water, snow and debris.

Missing-person incidents are all too common, whether it is a child who walks away from a picnic and disappears, or an elderly person with Alzheimer’s who wanders from their home, or a hunter who doesn’t return to his truck at the end of the day, or a fisherman’s boat is found empty, or a dam bursts flooding homes and vehicles, or innocents are trapped by disaster in rubble.

For more than 30 years New England K-9 Search and Rescue (NEK-9 SAR) has helped both save lives and bring closure to families of the deceased. Our highly trained and experienced search dog/handler teams and support personnel strategically located throughout New Hampshire and Vermont are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, ready for immediate response.

NEK-9 SAR’s canines are specially trained airscent dogs that don’t need to locate a track to find a missing person. Instead, they rely on human scent carried on the wind. This allows them and their handlers to cover extremely large areas quickly and at night when human searchers are the least effective. And in any search, time is of the essence. Even if the missing person isn’t injured, hypothermia is often a life-threatening possibility, even during warm weather.

NEK9 SARs’ dogs, through rigorous and continuous training, can locate the “out of place” person – alive or dead — even if the search area has been “contaminated” by other people. Our dogs are also certified in human remains detection, and can also assist in locating drowned subjects.