Click on the photos below to see a larger view of each photo.
On 11-09-98 two search and rescue dog teams from Portland, Oregon were sent to Honduras to assist the Fire Department (Los Bomberos) of Honduras in locating and recovering the missing victims of Hurricane Mitch.
Dog Handler/SAR Coordinator Harry E. Oakes Jr. with SAR dog Valorie from Gresham, Oregon and Michelle Keating with SAR dog Yogi from Vancouver, Washington, responded to the disaster.
We arrived on 11-10-98 and went to work searching flood plains, mud slides, and over cliffs (rappelling with the search dog) to assist the local fire department in recovering the dead and treating those who had been injured.
In eight days, we located 28 sites where the dogs identified where bodies were buried under rubble, deep mud, and in the rivers. To date 29 bodies have been recovered from three of the sites. This included a 3 year old child in a rock, sand, and mud covered soccer field. In another site at a home we located five dead. Our efforts brought closure and eventual healing to families beset with immeasurable loss. These two search dog teams were the ONLY search dogs sent from the United States to the Tegucigalpa area.
International K-9 Search and Rescue Services