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!
I have had the great privilege of being able to see these amazing dogs in action in general search, but more astonishingly within the confines of a hospital lab. Thru the ASDA we have been able to utilize these amazing animals in the detection of human cancer in life changing ways; the far reaching repercussions of which we still cannot even dream. These animals are clearly very well loved and taken care of and that is made evident through their impeccable training and skills.
I've had several opportunities to see these Search Dogs in active and they are quite impressive. Both the animals and the handlers are enthusiastic and eager to work. The bond they share is self evident and most likely attributes to why they are so great at what they do. I would highly recommend this group,.
What I have to say about this organization is the dogs and handlers are dedicated and serious about what they do. Many people go to their place of employment grudgingly day after day for the money they receive. These volunteers (workers) for the Arkansas Search Dog Association (American Search Dog Association), give their money and time to the job and drop everything day or night, days to weeks at a time as needed using their own money. Never expecting money in return, to cover their expense for the person or persons they are called to find- dead or live- but are determined to find them. Special people fill these shoes and I am glad to know them and would love to see more people become aware we should be reimbursing them, putting them on a county or city paycheck to compensate their need. Think of what it would be like without these brave soles and their canine partners who strive to do good for others. I am not saying take away their nonprofit status, but to reimburse them their itemize cost only. I am an advocate for this organization.
ASDA is an outstanding non-profit that provides Arkansas and other surrounding states with an invaluable service. Both the members and the dogs involved in this organization have made Arkansas a better place through their hard work and outstanding dedication. I have seen them work first hand and it is truly an incredible experience. Whether it is John D working to detect cancer or his sister Glee tracking a missing person, you will always be left mesmerized by what our canine friends are capable of achieving. The members of this organization are out to save lives, and they will do just that!
HOPE came to me covered in fur and with a big fluffy tail. I call HOPE ... John D Waugh with the Arkansas Search Dog Association.
Being a survivor of the EF5 tornado that hit our community in Joplin, Missouri I have to say I am so impressed by this dedicated K9 Search Team. With devastation everywhere and peoples hopes and dreams just gone along with so many memories - there is one memory I will always have. That memory is watching a team come together and through the thick of the rubble searched for 3 days for survivors and anyone that they could help. Bringing HOPE to those who had lost everything - yet was encourage by a friendly wag of a tail and a team of highly trained professionals that knew what needed to be done.
From Search and Rescue to detecting human cancers - these dogs are amazing.
These dogs along with their handlers sacrifice so much , and give their all when the call comes. I've never seen a team come together as I have the Arkansas Search Dog Association - Not only do they support others but are there to support each other.
The Arkansas Search Dog Association is a compassionate group - nothing stops them from doing what they know needs to be done.
When I first contacted the Arkansas Search Dog Association, I was a writing student needing to partner with a 501c3 for a grant writing course. The ASDA president, Donna Waugh, quickly responded to my inquiries, and provided so much information about the organization that I was both overwhelmed and in love. She clearly had a passion for working with dogs, and embodies public service to a T. Through her leadership, the organization has expanded its scope, and now cross trains dogs in search and rescue and cancer detection. All of the handlers and researchers are volunteer- paying money out of their own pockets to wade through snake-fested waters and ditches in the hopes of finding missing people. These people are brave, and get little recognition, but they continue to work and train hard every single day. Their dogs are professional, capable and heroic. Writing a grant for them was so easy because talent often speaks for itself. This group is made up of highly-educated, dedicated people, so I was thoroughly pleased when they invited me to join their team in a Communications role. I am inspired by them every day.
In my experience with this organization they are willing to go where ever and whenever they are needed. They don't mind driving for hours only to be told they are not needed, to go back home. They drive for hours, bringing their own equipment, using their time, skills, money, not asking for pay, or restitution. They are willing to help others, out of the caring, giving attitudes they bring with them wherever they are. They are a compassionate group that will help any and everyone they encounter.
The dogs trained by this organization are outstanding in every way. Not only do they frequently respond to the challenge of search and rescue, but their unique training format has enabled them to transition to the detection of human cancers. Their dogs are now participating in leading-edge research concerning the detection of human cancers in body fluids at the University of Arkansas. Results to this point have been extremely encouraging. The dedication and talent of this group, both the dogs and their handlers, is second to none.