In this series, we shine a light on the island’s lesser-known charities.
Our next charity is the Isle of Man Search and Rescue Dog Team (Charity 918).
We spoke to the charity about their work and why it is so vital to the island.
Who are you / What are you doing?
Our charity is Search & Rescue Dogs Isle of Man.
l The main thing is to search and rescue the missing people on the island.
We work with the Inland Search and Rescue Group and are called by the Isle of Man Police when someone goes missing. We are available 24/7.
There are currently two search dog teams on call: Gary Wright with search dog Holly and Marc Marshall with search dog Matt. There are also Jim Macgregor and Ruby, who are awaiting an evaluation to reconsider the call rotation.
We also have two potential new search dogs in training. Ben with Steve and Olivia with Fig.
When we train in the UK we are also available for calls with mountain rescue teams and have been used in England and Wales, including on high profile calls.
l Our secondary goal is to educate people about dogs.
This involves visiting schools, groups like women’s institutes and others with lectures and demonstrations to police/police cadets/army cadets etc.
We trained in 2004 to provide search and rescue dogs on the island as there were none before.
What has been your greatest achievement?
The greatest achievement is maintaining watchdogs over the past 22 years.
Not all search dogs are up to the task, so maintaining that level is quite the feat.
Additionally, we have had many discoveries and some on the island have been life-saving discoveries, which makes the whole commitment worthwhile.
What is your greatest ambition for the future?
The main goal is to maintain our current high standards and keep the dogs on the call list so they are available to help search for missing or injured people on the island.
How can people get involved?
You can get in touch via:
l Our Facebook page: ‘Search and Rescue Dog Association (Isle of Man)’
l Our website: https://sardaiom.im/contact/
Where can people find you and where can they donate?
We have a donation button on our homepage where all donated money goes to the association: https://sardaiom.im.
We also have a PayPal donation fund at: https://www.paypal.com/gb/fundraiser/charity/3883908