I have learned about this wonderful organization not in person, but through the work of John D Waugh and his handler/owner, Donna Waugh. As one of this year's American Hero Dogs John D has brought the Association into the limelight, and folks like me (who live in other states) have been made fully aware of the hard work, dedication, triumphs and resolutions the teams have brought to so many, regardless of where they are located. One of the most honorable and unselfish things I read lately was that John D went to his award ceremony in Hollywood sporting a new cut over his eye from a search conducted just before he left. Clearly, his work comes first, and is his passion; nothing was more important than aiding in the search. I hope I never have to use the services of a search team due to a catastrophe, but if I were in that position, I would want representatives from the AK Search Dog Assoc., Inc in my court!
I was a previous volunteer for the Arkansas Search Dog Association (ASDA) before being relocated to New York. These dedicated individuals stand ready to deploy, day or night, regardless of the weather. There are never holidays, vacation days, hours off duty or other excuses. When the call comes in, these individuals will respond. They are a true asset to the State of Arkansas as they are made up of compassionate volunteers who wish to serve their community.
The dedication and commitment required by these volunteers, to assure these services are always available when a person is lost, is huge. They are a great group of individuals who do extraordinary things.
I have admired this group from outside the organization for their dedication to helping those who need it the most in what is the most traumatic time they have ever had to experience. I saw the photos of JohnD working in Joplin after that devastating tornado which leveled the town for miles in every direction you could see. The handlers and dogs risk their own safety and well being to help those who ask for it. The handlers pay for all travel expenses involved with these trips and provide the equipment used by the dogs and handlers. Their time is given freely and with a spirit of generosity rarely seen. This organization is invaluable in it's service to the community.
The expectations are high and no excuses are acceptable. I get called in the middle of the night, in terrible weather, and I am required to immediately respond to someone else's nightmare. It's hard, it's extremely demanding and intensely emotional. I have to pay my own way, sleep in cars and eat too many bologna sandwiches. It takes all my spare money and time. It is the most significant thing I have ever done in my life or with my life. I am on a K9 Search and Rescue team. It is my privilege to serve when I am called. I follow a hero from the end of a leash.
I am a volunteer for ASDA. We respond to natural disasters as well as missing person calls. I am very proud to call myself a member of such a worthwhile organization.
I am a volunteer with Arkansas Scebt Dog Assiciation(ASDA), and have been for three years. The work this organization does is amazing. Be it from dogs like John-D and Brandi detecting cancer to dogs like Glee finding lost children, every encounter with this organization will leave you mesmerized. But it doesn't just have to be an actual life or death situation. Even in practices or public events you will be captivated by these dogs and their loving owners. They pull you in and won't let you go. They steal your heart and it's absolutely amazing. I love this furry organization and couldn't imagine my life without having ever been a part of it.
I have been involved with the Arkansas Search Dog Association for 3 years. There is amazing dedication of this organization to pursue the full potential that dogs have to offer. They are ready at a moments notice to respond to searches or help with finding cancer. The commitment of this group is what makes it such a strong organization.
The dedication of the dogs and their human handlers is awe-inspiring. They are ready to respond in times of crisis -- whether that crisis is a tornado, a missing child, a crime scene, or some other situation in which a dog's power of scent can be put to good use. Recently, they have expanded their mission to take part in trials to detect ovarian and thyroid cancer. The handlers believe in the power of their dogs to do amazing things. And they do! When not training or on a mission, the dogs are ordinary, lovable house pets and include rescue dogs and mixed breeds. The handlers come from all walks of life with different day jobs, but they are united by a common passion. These dedicated volunteers break from their normal activities to activate 24/7. They do so at no cost to those in need of their services. This organization greatly deserves the support of their community!
I would like to say I am a volunteer for the Arkansas Search Dog Association, but the truth is, I didn't have the grit to stay the course with this dedicated organization. Training sessions happen almost every week for several hours at a time, and the group is passionate about their mission, and their dogs. I did go to a few sessions and was amazed at what I saw. Dogs given a scent at a building on the south side of the Arkansas River were able to track a volunteer across a bridge to a stop on the north side --- crazy! Even my fat beagle did fairly well, but not like the highly trained dogs like John D, who I swear should be on CSI. These volunteers regularly drop everything to search for missing people, sometimes in horrible conditions, and have to be knowledgable to work with law enforcement and sensitive to the family members of those who are lost. I've also been following the work the dogs are doing with cancer research. How amazing is that?!? We are learning so much from our canine companions, and organizations like Arkansas Search Dog Association Inc., are proof that they may be the key to exciting new developments in medical research and law enforcement.
ASDA is an amazing organization that does not hesitate to answer "yes" when asked to volunteer their time, their dogs and their effort whenever they are needed. They do so whether it is for community education, response to natural disasters or to find missing persons. The ASDA's dedication and time is given freely and with heart and passion, and lives are saved and loved ones found as a result. Their recent work with cancer research is another example of their amazing dedication.
I have followed the activities of ASDA, and particularly the work of John D, for several years.
Their commitment to continuous training and finding new uses for these animals is just exceptional. They are always on call at no cost to beneficiaries and with no funding organization.
The recent venture into cancer detection opens a new option for some of these animals and a life saving possibility for many people. This puts ASDA and UAMS at the frontier in a game changing activity.
The accomplishments to date are remarkable but the best is yet to come!