PSARDA is a 501C3

federal tax exempt organization!

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Palisades Search & Rescue Dog Association, Inc, (PSARDA) is a non-profit (501 c.3.) organization of unpaid volunteers founded in 1979 to train and use dogs to find lost people. The dogs are trained in air scenting, trailing and human remains detection. They are owned and trained by the members.
We are involved in all aspects of K-9 Search and Rescue including:
Wilderness Search
Water Search
Human Remains Detection
Disaster Search

Our primary response areas include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. However, we have responded to request in other areas. The members of PSARDA live throughout the response area.

All members on PSARDA are Sartech III or Sartech II with The National Association of Search & Rescue, The members train together twice a month and must become qualified in search methods, land navigation, survival, radio communications, first aid, CPR and dog handling. The dogs must become qualified in obedience and search methods.

Search and Rescue assignments are received through the various parks police, local or state police, fire agencies and county emergency services. We do not accept police assignments that might endanger the dog or handler.

Funding is provided by public contributions for unit equipment. Members pay for personal expenditures. Member expenses may be tax deductible as charitable contributions within IRS limits. Training and search expenses are not reimbursed.

We spend considerable time in training and on actual searches, therefore you should expect to take time from work and be prepared for out of pocket expenses. These expenses may be as much as $2,500.00 a year for mileage and personal equipment. Therefore, a SERIOUS LEVEL OF COMMITMENT IS NECESSARY. All responses to searches are voluntary and participation is done according to your availability.

Each person and each dog is unique. Not everyone can make the major time commitment or will enjoy the rigors of search and rescue training. Sometimes the person is a good candidate, but the dog isn't or vice versa.

There are few restrictions as to acceptability. The dog must be friendly, have the drive for the work and be fit and healthy for long hours of outdoor activity. The same requirements also apply to becoming a dog handler or support personnel for PSARDA.

Typically, SAR dogs come from the sporting, herding, and working class breeds. Among our ranks we have, or previously had, Border Collie, Beaucerons, Rottweiler, German Sheperd, Labrador, Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever and mixed breed. The dogs are family pets with a part time job.

There are advantages and limitations in starting with an older dog as well as starting with a puppy. Puppies can start some training at 3-4 months, but must be at least 1 year old for operational status. It may take a dog 8 to 10 months or longer to master the required skills. Acquiring handler skills may take a minimum of 10-12 months. We do have time limitations on training for each level, so only the most serious should consider this major commitment. You will need to train your dog nearly every day.

You will need to arrange your own training in some degree of emergency care. First Aid and CPR are required.


24 hour dispatch # 908-782-0911

38 Douglas Street
Lambertville, NJ  08530


For Information contact Spring or Pat Pittore or