North Waltham

A beautiful village in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire

North Waltham

A beautiful village in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire

North Waltham

A beautiful village in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire

North Waltham

A beautiful village in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire

North Waltham

A beautiful village in the borough of Basingstoke and Deane in Hampshire

WI – July 2022

by | Jun 18, 2022 | WI

On Thursday 9th June 2022 we were joined by Rusty and his owner Kev.  Rusty, a working collie, is a search dog with Hampshire Search and Rescue and helps look for vulnerable people including children, people with dementia and mental health issues.  They are on call 24/7 and will be contacted by the police after the search area has been established following police enquiries.  Kev has been a volunteer in the dog branch for 16 years and Rusty is his second search dog.  Kev’s first dog, Zak, gave 11 years of service and saved many lives during this time.  Zak was seen as a National Search Dog Expert and many dogs across the country learnt from his work.  In December 2019 Kev was awarded an MBE for services to Policing and Search and Rescue where his dedication and determination directly contributed to saving countless lives.  Zak is now enjoying his retirement with Kev.

All search dogs are pets and it takes 18 months to 3 years to complete their training to become an operational search dog – Kev works full time so any training is done in his non-work time.  Despite what you see on telly, dogs aren’t given a piece of the missing persons clothing as in reality that will have all sorts of smells on it.  So the dogs are “non-specific air scenting” trained, ie, they search for people.  Sometimes with embarrassing outcomes as Zak found out when he found a couple in the grass who weren’t missing!! 

So how does Rusty know when he is working?  He has a special harness which is his signal that he is at work – Kev showed us this harness and Rusty was immediately on alert expecting to go to work.  Rusty is also rewarded with specific toys following a search and he knows not to play with these toys so ignores them even though he can see them.  An average search will be between 6 and 8 hours – Rusty will do a two-hour stint then have a sleep in the fully equipped van, then do another stint if required.

Hampshire Search and Rescue personnel are all volunteers, so money is raised through fund raising and/or sponsorships.  All costs relating to the dogs are met by their owners or by sponsorship.  Plus the equipment required for each volunteer, eg, VHF Radio, satnav devices both of which are around £400 each.

Kev has an incredible rapport with Rusty – for a lot of the talk Rusty was listening to him intently – other than a few visits to members for a bit of TLC – Kev told us Rusty does love his cuddles!!  Just as Kev was finishing his talk, the cuckoo clock struck and Rusty was totally bemused by the noise!!

Our forthcoming meetings are:

Thursday 14th July 2022:  Here Comes the Sun (we hope!!):  Join us for our annual social highlight when we will be meeting at The Foxes Den (weather permitting) to enjoy strawberries and cream and a catch up with friends.

August 2022 – Summer Break – no meeting

Thursday 8th September 2022:  We are what we eat – nutrition for mid and later life:   Kate Houldsworth, who I’m sure many of you know, will be looking at how nutrition supports our health and wellbeing.

If you are interested in joining us at one of our Meetings, held in the Rathbone Pavilion, please contact me on carolynbrown50@googlemail.com

Archives

w

Contact Us

To ensure your enquiry reaches the right person, please select the most relevant option from the Contact... dropdown menu:

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter to receive regular updates from the village and local community.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest