NSDA Mission Statement
The mission of the National Search Dog Alliance, a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), is to serve
communities through the certification and education of search and rescue and law enforcement
canine teams and their support personnel.
- Serve communities: Our certified canine teams respond to
local and national emergencies and provide awareness programs on proactive safety education.
- Certification: We provide nationally recognized standards
to ensure the highest quality resources to advance public safety.
- Sponsoring Education: At the local, regional and national
level to provide professional continuous learning opportunities.
NSDA currently offers the following canine team certifications to the SAR Community:
- Area Search
- Area Search with Live Subject and Cadaver
- Wilderness Cadaver
- Wilderness Trailing
- Urban Trailing
- Land Human Remains Detection
- Water Human Remains Detection
- Avalanche First Responder and Ski Patrol
- Disaster First Responder Type III Live Find
- Disaster First Responder Type III Human Remains Detection
- Gun Source Residue
All testing is done by nationally certified Principle Evaluators trained to the
highest standards in the field.
Policy on Charging for Search and Rescue Operations
National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA) is comprised of non-paid professional canine teams who
donate their services to locate the missing and endangered. NSDA does not support non-paid
professional K-9 teams charging a fee to the families for a rescue or a recovery. Our mission
is to help bring each incident to closure as soon as possible.
What law enforcement, and other Agencies Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), expect from canine SAR Responders:
- Responders must arrive fully equipped: mentally, physically and with the proper equipment
for the mission and environment.
- Responders must be able to complete their assigned missions or be able to make every
reasonable effort to do so.
- Responders must be willing and able to work under the direction of the representatives
from the Agency Having Jurisdiction.
- Responders must be free of convictions for felonies, crimes involving moral turpitude
- Responders must truthfully represent their capabilities and those of their canine.
Code of Ethics
Paid and non-paid professionals have the right to expect specific behavior from each other.
With this in mind, members of the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA) shall adhere to the
following code of ethics at all times.
Section I. Law Enforcement, Emergency Management and other Agencies Having
Jurisdiction have high expectations and requirements of those with whom they work. This
includes the members of the NSDA and all other SAR Responders.
Section II. As SAR Responders, we must conduct ourselves in a professional manner
at all times. We will only respond to an incident when authorized or requested by competent
authority. When responding, we are there to assist the agency that is in charge and are there
for the victim, not ourselves, our team or our agency and will conduct ourselves as such. We
are bound to follow the directions of the representatives from the agency that is in charge.
Section III. It is imperative that we train to a high level of competence and
always accurately represent our capabilities as well as those of our canine. We will keep
ourselves physically fit so that we can safely and effectively complete assigned tasks.