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

South Island Transportation Strategy looks to reduce reliance on personal vehicles

EV charging stations, bike lockers, new park-and-ride stalls among solutions in Capital Region

New crop of hand-crafted heats popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

BC Transit finishes wave of replacements with natural gas buses in Victoria

Average fleet age drops a few years with new buses added in 2020

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read