A ground-breaking search and rescue initiative has secured £1million in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
‘Search Dog Heroes’ is a joint project between national charity Missing People and the Lowland
Rescue service and it was one of two winners of this year’s People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund.
Similar projects have recently been trialled in both the United States and Australia. Both were particularly successful in tracking dementia patients and those with severe autism.
The project combines the skills of two organisations working towards the same goal – to find missing people and to save lives.
At the centre of achieving their dream are the team of ‘hero dogs’ and the specialised scent kits, which will be available to those caring for the most vulnerable members of society.
The project, which will launch across the UK, will see up to 100 dogs and their volunteer handlers receive training that will enable them to find vulnerable missing people faster.
Karen Robinson, director of partnerships and development at Missing People, said: “We are thrilled that the Search Dog Heroes project has been awarded Dream Fund support. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we can help to save the lives of vulnerable people.
“This funding will enable people caring for those at risk of going missing to prevent deaths by storing the scent of their loved one and a whole new generation of specialist search dogs will be trained to find them if they do go missing.
“On behalf of Missing People, Lowland Rescue and all of the families who will be spared the desperation of a missing loved one, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all players of People’s Postcode Lottery.”