About Us

What is SARDA?

Search and Rescue Dogs Australia Incorporated since 1994.   (SARDA inc) is a volunteer-based not-for-profit organisation that provides specially trained search and rescue dogs for Australian Emergency Services to assist in locating missing persons.  SARDA is part of Australia’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) capability and members regularly train on various USAR Taskforce training venues including private locations.

SARDA provide:

  • Specially trained dogs, handlers and support personnel for Search & Rescue missions
  • SAR dog services to Australian Emergency Services. 24 hours a day. 365 days a year. FREE
  • Training and education for SARDA dogs and members
  • Information for the public about SARDA and how to get involved.  


What do SARDA dogs do?

Search Dogs may be employed in a wide range of emergency situations around Australia. These highly trained dogs use airborne scent to locate missing people.  SARDA deployed two teams on Black Saturday 2009 and received the National Emergency Medal for their service.
SARDA teams are trained to use their skills in various settings including:-

  • Urban/Disaster search
    • Locating victims who are lost or trapped as a result of explosions or natural disasters
      • Earthquakes, floods, landslides, fires, terrorist activities

Who trains the dogs?

Volunteers! SARDA Members who believe strongly in providing this essential service to the community.
SARDA members are dedicated, experienced dog handlers who:-

  • Spend hours each week training their dogs (6-10 avg)
  • Attend training in-
    • emergency procedures
    • first aid (human & canine)
    • the use of emergency equipment
    • survival and navigational skills
    • advanced search and dog handling methods (ie scent movement)
    • personal fitness
  • Attend long-weekend training campus throughout the year

SARDA provides educational training opportunities for handlers through external courses or through transfer of skills from experienced dog handlers. Support members can also train to be SAR dog handlers.

SARDA Members

Who are these amazing people?
SARDA members are highly motivated and dedicated volunteers giving up their time to support the community and Australian Emergency Services. Two SARDA dog teams have gained their operational Certification to the new Australian Best Practice Guideline in Search and Rescue Canine Capability.
Currently there are:-

  • 16 SARDA members
  • 11 active dog teams
  • 5 support members
    • SARDA support members are vital to the success of the organisation. They provide support with administration, fund raising, search and rescue support and sometimes even act as ‘bodies’ for the SAR dogs.
  • SARDA support members are pivotal in the success of the organisation. (Talk to us about being a SARDA support member today!)

Who pays for SARDA training?

Deploying a SAR dog team to assist emergency services in locating missing persons is a highly skilled and expensive business. Training dog handlers, dogs and support members takes hundreds of hours of training, often in inhospitable and dangerous conditions.  Commitment and a real joy in being involved with this organisation means members usually sacrifice their own time, comfort and money.
SARDA members assume most of the costs related to training, equipment, maintenance and upkeep for themselves and their dogs. Members pay annual fees to cover Public Liability requirements as well as accident insurance. SARDA receives no government support and the team relies heavily on fund-raising activities and the generosity of individuals, private industry and the community as a whole.


Would you like to contribute to this worthy cause?