About South Georgia Search Dogs

SGSD Inc, founded in 1999 by Rod Gilchrist and Janet Fowler in Albany, Georgia, with the purpose to group highly motivated and trained individuals to respond to emergency situations.

In 2000, the Columbus, Ga. unit was created to fill a need for trained search and rescue dogs, in the Columbus, Ga. area. In 2005 Mike and Heidy Drawdy joined by establishing the Thomasville, Ga. unit of South Georgia Search Dogs Inc.

We use dogs of various breeds, and they are trained in Area (wilderness) Searching, Trailing Search, Human Remains Detection, and Evidence of Crime/Article Searches. All of our dogs are temperament tested and selected for Search and Rescue capability.

SGSD members are required to undergo extensive training at least 3 times a week. Usually it takes approximately one to two years for the “Dog Team” to become fully trained, tested and certified. Teams are required to be tested in both day and nighttime search scenarios, where they locate a live victim, recover articles and human remains. Only certified personnel may participate in a search.

Team Training About Us

Heidy and DixieIf you want to know about us meet our teams have participated in searches in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Saba Island, Netherlands Antilles. Assisted Law Enforcement such as Police Departments, County Sheriff Departments, County and City Emergency Management Agencies, FBI, and GBI. Members of the Merrill’s Investigations and Securities K-9 Team, www.merrills-investigations.com We are also Auxiliary K-9 Handlers for the Harris County, Georgia, Sheriffs Department. www.harriscountysheriff.org, and members of the State of Georgia West Central GSAR TF-4A task force.

Our teams’ training and knowledge was improved by attending seminars taught by the Nation’s top dog trainers in the Search and Rescue Field. We also brought in trainers from GEMA (Georgia Emergency Management Assoc.) to work with us on an individual basis. All our teams are licensed by GEMA (Georgia Emergency Management) – http://www.gema.state.ga.us/. Currently we require each prospective team to certify with NASAR (National Association for Search and Rescue). All teams are required to pass all NIMS on line courses www.nimsonline.com . All operational teams are members of at least one of the following FEMA recognized organizations: NASAR, NAPWDA (North American Police Work Dogs Association) www.napwda.com, IPWDA (International Police Working Dog Association) www.ipwda.com, and L.E.T.S International (Law Enforcement Training Specialists) www.letsdawgs.com .for annual certifications in Human Remains Detection, Trailing/Tracking, and Wilderness/Urban search. Teams in our Thomasville, Ga. squad are involved in USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) disaster training with their new dog Hero and Leila. We are also members of GSAR TF-4A task force with our wilderness dogs.

Thank you for visiting our web site! If you have any questions or would like to volunteer as a training victim, please e-mail us directly using the contact link above.