Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue provided a couple of K9 teams for a successful search on the Saanich Peninsula this past weekend, as member Axl found a 75-year-old woman is his first search. Facebook photo, CVGSAR

Dog from Island team finds missing woman in his first SAR mission

Comox Valley sent K9 teams to help with weekend search on Saanich Peninsula

It was the first search for new search dog Axl on Saturday, and it turned out to be a success for the golden retriever.

Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue (CVGSAR) K9 team sent a couple of its K9 units south to assist the Peninsula Emergency Measures Organization (PEMO) with a search for a missing 75-year-old woman on the Saanich Peninsula on Saturday. Ruizhen Wu had been missing since last Thursday before she was tracked down with the help of K9 unit.

“That was Axl’s first search as a certified dog,” said Paul Berry, president of CVGSAR.

PEMO said on Twitter that the woman was seen about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, in the Cordova Bay area and confirmed a day later that she had been found. Berry estimates the K9 teams had been out searching for a couple of hours and said the planning team had done a good job of defining the search area in the previous days based on a statistical analysis of lost person behaviour.

RELATED STORY: Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue flies out injured hiker

Berry said this was a mutual aid situation where they were able to assist another search team by providing the K9 support.

“It was really just our dog resources. Two of our dog teams went down to assist in the search,” he said. “It’s certainly normal practice in the province when you have a large-scale search that you ask for mutual aid from neighbouring teams.”

K9 member Chris Smith brought along Axl and another golden retriever, Solo, while another member brought along her black lab.

Berry said the missing woman, who has Alzheimer’s, disappeared in a wooded area and probably travelled well over a kilometre into fairly heavy bush.

“Often, subjects with dementia wander until they get stuck,” he said.

CVGSAR has had multiple K9 teams for about six years, Berry said, with Smith having had three dogs take part over the years. On its website, the organization outlines the process dogs go through before they can become certified search dogs. This includes an assessment when they are between six months and two years old. Dogs and trainers are also validated annually.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Oak Bay’s only candy shop closing for good on Friday

Sweet Delights Candy Store going out of business

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Most Read