Harry Oakes was issued State of Oregon and
State of Washington SAR Certification cards through Skamania County,
Washington, Clark County, Washington, Polk County, and Clackamas County,
Oregon as well as with Portland Mountain Rescue.
Here's what a
State SAR Card looks like.
My exclusive interview with Mr. Harry Oakes from Portland, Oregon. 2004.
Over the years I’ve interviewed Presidents of countries,
multimillionaires, and yes-even housewives. One of the most interesting
interviews I had was in 2004 when I talked with the dog handler from
Portland, Oregon who located Ashley Pond buried under cement on Ward
Weaver’s property in Oregon City, Oregon in 2002.
I have found that by nature some folks are jealous of other people’s
successes. So in turn, they badmouth those who are successful in hopes
it will boost their own ego. They forget that some people fight back.
One such person is Harry Oakes. He doesn’t get physical though he is a
black belt in Tae Kwon Do, he fights back with documented facts. I must
say, I’ve reviewed his records and they are well documented and support
all of his statements.
I interviewed Harry while he was getting ready to do a story for a TV
show on NBC and we talked in great length about Harry’s success in 36
years of SAR work around the world.
Over the years Harry Oakes has had many roles. 12 years as a police
officer, 25 years as K9 SAR instructor combined with 10 years as a
mountain rescue instructor, and the list goes on and on. He’s been an
EMT during 25 of those years, he’s volunteered for 15 years for the
American Red Cross. He teaches children and adults how to stay safe in
the wilderness, on the city streets, and prepare for disasters such as
earthquakes. He’s been a guide with the Mazamas, he’s taught through
OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. He’s been hired by numerous
professional firms around the world to lecture on safety. Numerous
governments have brought him in on their disasters to coordinate and
work the scene.
Harry you have many folks who just don’t like you. Why is that?
Harry; I’ve seen some folks who are simply jealous of our success and
over the last 25 years have repeatedly tried to attack my credibility
and my team’s success. They have done this by going through the media,
TV, radio talk shows, and through the newspapers and giving out ONE
SIDED - misinformation.
Fact: Over the last 25 years, each time we’ve performed a search
mission, we document, the date, location, our contact information, time
involved and our findings. Our reports and files have held up under
close review by the;
Oregon Dept. of Justice who did a three-year investigation and found
absolutely no criminal wrong doing on my part nor did I ever have to pay
any fines. They in fact helped me develop the first for profit K9 SAR
Dog team in the nation.
The I.R.S. who audited my records, and found my records were in order
The FBI who have used our services around the world. You can bet if I
wasn’t credible or if my team wasn’t credible we never ever would have
been involved in their searches in the Federal Building explosion in
Oklahoma as well as the kidnapping and homicide investigation of Claudia
Kirchoch in Jamaica.
Other Government agencies have used us successfully around the world to
determine what really happened to a specific missing person missing in
on foreign soil.
Interviewer: What other governmental agencies are you talking about?
Harry; In the interests of National security, I’d rather not list them
but just say, Govt. agencies and leave it at that. Foreign governments
such as the Island of St Croix USVI, Honduras, Dominican Republic and
Turkey are just some of the countries we’ve assisted.
Several courts though out the nation that have used me to testify as an
expert witness and reviewed my credentials before I gave testimony to
establish my credibility. I testified as an expert in the field of
Search and Rescue, K9 search dog training, training, testing, and
working a search dog. Finding lost persons, scent, scent evidence, and
working disasters, kidnappings and homicides. I’ve had many attorneys
over the years contact me for consulting purposes regarding my expert
opinion on scent, search dogs and animals in general. Capturing,
training, how scent works, etc.
Interviewer: So what do you have to say to those folks in the media and
other searchers who have bad mouthed your efforts to help people during
their time of need?
Harry; Put up or shut the hell up. I’m sick and tired of their B.S. The
Court system accepts my credibility and credentials. That’s all that
matters. That and my documented successes.
Interviewer: Why are all these folks angry with you?
Harry; Because I find the missing when they can’t. It makes them look
bad. It’s so easy to sit back and armchair quarterback over 7,534
missions. In the last 25 years. When someone attacks me, they attack my
search dogs, my other team members, and all of our efforts so I do take
We have never seen one single person from any one of these SAR or law
enforcement agencies, who have bad mouthed our unit, and myself, spend
their own money, risk their own lives, to crawl through a collapsed
destroyed building in the U.S.A. or in a foreign country, looking for
the live and the dead victims of earthquakes, bombings, floods, fires,
or other disasters which we've responded to around the world.
We’ve never seen one of these individuals from N.A.S.A.R., Ca. Ore., and
Washington SAR Council, who continue to bad mouth our efforts, wading
through the hot steamy snake, and crocodile infested jungles, in the
Philippines, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, St Thomas, St Croix,
USVI, and Jamaica, looking for missing victims. Yet we’ve been there.
And we were successful in our searches there. Again all documented.
We’ve never seen any of these folks in the flood-ravaged lands of
Honduras, Haiti, and the Pacific NW looking for drowning victims. Yet
we’ve documented our assistance in Armenia, Philippines, Northridge,
Turkey, Jamaica, and in over seven thousand other search missions around
Interviewer: Who is we?
Harry; At one point I’ve had over 65 team members. One dog one handler
makes up a team. Currently I have 40 active team members attached to
International K9 Search and Rescue Services. We have doctors, senators,
lawyers, nurses, paramedics, house wives, house dads, people from all
walks of life have joined our teams. I’ve trained over 6,500 search dog
handlers and their dogs around the world. Each one has been successful
Interviewer: Harry you say in your web site “To date, there has been no
factual documented proof of any criminal wrong-doing by you or your team
members. Nothing produced to support anyone's statements of any wrong
doing by You or your team members, by any law enforcement agency or SAR
group”. Have you ever been arrested and charged for any criminal action
of any kind?
Harry; Nothing what so ever. I’ve received one speeding ticket 25 years
ago and two parking tickets. That’s it.
In fact, we have hundred’s of letters from Law enforcement, government
agencies, including three from former Presidents of the USA and one from
former President Aquino of the Philippines expressing their gratitude to
our abilities in helping others in their time of need. We’ve received
many letters of thanks from the families of the victims as well.
Interviewer: Harry you have heard the verbal and written attacks against
you personally. Many Sheriff’s in the state of Oregon and Washington
have made comments such as "Harry’s a controversial figure in Oregon in
regards to SAR work". Why are you so controversial?
Harry; my attorney and myself have asked the various Sheriff’s and SAR
Groups to produce one single document showing factual information
regarding their statements to back up their statements. In over 38 years
of looking for missing people and 25 years working with the search dogs,
while we’ve been providing service to the Sheriff’s departments and to
the private public sector, we have yet to see a single piece of written
documentation to support any of their statements. Nothing at all.
We can produce hundreds of letters and reports in support of everything
we’ve said and done. When we ask the sheriff’s and other K-9 teams
involved to contact our references that support what we’ve done, they
never have. Instead they would rather just continue to verbally sit back
on their hindquarters and verbally attack us, to try to make them look
better and less incompetent.
This after we repeatedly enter the search privately on behalf of the
victim(s) families and find the missing victim(s) in the original search
areas where the sheriff's teams failed to find the missing person(s).
This destroys the sheriff's and Volunteer K-9's credibility, not ours.
Again it’s all documented.
Interviewer: So do you think this an ego issue?
Harry; Yes. HONESTLY. Every time I've been investigated regarding my
search and rescue services and my successes, it's been found that I've
been 100% truthful. I've even taken and passed a polygraph on this
matter. (See the 1998 D.O.J. Audit and I.R.S. Audit reports). The IRS,
DOJ, FBI, NSA, and CIA have checked us out. We continue to be proven
credible beyond reproach.
Interviewer; You say you are “Courtroom Proven”. Which courts?
The courtrooms in Clark and Multnomah County have in the past openly
accepted our training, testing, certification process and our
documentation. We've obtained several search warrants based on our
abilities and results and also given expert testimony in the courts of
law regarding scent, scent evidence, search dogs, and search and rescue.
Again I’ll say, “If it’s good enough for the courts, it ought to be good
enough to the local law enforcement”.
TESTING. My documented searches and success qualifies me as an expert in
the courtroom regarding scent, scent evidence, search dogs, search dog
training, testing and certification. We are one of 200 search and rescue
K-9 teams that is a self-testing dog team. We’re not doing anything
different, then the other 200 search dog teams in the USA and Canada.
(See the 1997 national survey). Yet we don’t see the other K-9 teams
testing and standards under attack by the OSSA. (Oregon State Sheriff’s
Association). Why is that?
Interview; I’m asking you then, Harry why is this?
Harry; It's because we get results when the O.S.S.A. teams have failed
repeatedly. This makes them look bad. See copies of the Eli Kelt, Dela
Carlson, Ashley Pond, and Miranda Gaddis search reports for examples.
“Dateline special “Into Thin Air” segment regarding Ward Weaver and
Ashley Pond murder case in Oregon City, Oregon.
We feel it’s because the O.S.S.A., (Oregon State Sheriff’s Association)
wants everyone to believe their tester is honest, reliable, and
If that’s the case then, why is it documented that we’ve gone in after
the O.S.S.A. has called off their official search, after they have used
their O.S.S.A. State Certified SAR Dog teams, and they’ve found nothing,
yet we found the victim(s) in their original search areas? Dela Carlson,
Brian Harris, Eli Kelt, Ashley Pond, Scott Spangle Jr. who are just some
of the dead victims listed that we found their remains when the O.S.S.A.
teams couldn’t in the original search areas.
One embarrassing example is the 2002 Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis
search in Oregon City, where the O.S.S.A. teams and even their state
tester with his dog Marty Neiman, and the FBI teams repeatedly went onto
the suspect’s property (Ward Weaver) and searched several suspicious
areas. They repeatedly reported that their teams had found nothing, even
after drilling holes and pumping warm air under a concrete slab the
O.S.S.A. teams stated publicly to the media, Portland Tribune and the
Oregonian Newspaper, "There's nothing under the slab".
In March 2002, I with my SAR Dog Valorie, entered the search on behalf
of Lori, Ashley’s mother. I donated my time and efforts for the search
for Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis. I documented finding Ashley's
buried remains under the concrete slab and Miranda Gaddis in Wards lay
down freezer in Ward Weaver’s kitchen March 30, 2002.
I immediately forwarded my reports to the FBI, OCPD, and to the victim’s
families. This verified by MSNBC Dateline TV Producer Shane Bishop and
Keith Morrison Interviewer for NBC.
In Aug. 2002, the FBI finally dug up Ashley's remains under public
pressure and, right where my SAR dog Valorie indicated, they found
Ashley remains. Between March 2002 and Aug 2002, Ward Weaver moved
Miranda’s remains to a shed. The police did verify that the murdered
victim’s remains had been in the freezer where SAR Dog Valorie had shown
me where they were at the time of their search in March 2002.
If this doesn't prove my SAR Dogs credibility beyond reproach, what
does? SAR Dog Val indicated and I reported there was a body under the
concrete slab. The FBI dug up said body 5 months later right were we
located it during our private search.
We’ve repeatedly documented entering the search after the O.S.S.A. has
called their efforts off and we’ve repeatedly either found the victim,
or found out what had happened to the victim, in the original search
areas. Now whose credibility is really on the line here the O.S.S.A. K-9
teams, or ours? We’ve found every person we’ve looked for or have
determined what really happened to them and the suspect(s) involved in
their disappearance. (This verified by our reports and the local police
With the POND / Gaddis case, I demanded the O.S.S.A. remove their Ore.
state certification process, reevaluate it, and accept N.A.S.A.R.
(National Association for Search and Rescue) SAR Dog standards which
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Teams along with 200 other National teams use as a
guideline. As of this writing, the O.S.S.A. Standards are no longer
credible and the O.S.S.A. Certification process is under revision. We
were informed that their state tester has been removed from his role
thanks to my team’s efforts.
Interviewer: Harry some search folks have accused you of showing up on a
Harry; Again I’ve asked these folks who have made these statements to
come forward with DOCUMENTED PROOF of what they are saying. In 38 years
of looking for missing persons and 24 years with the K9 units, “no one
has been able to provide one single piece of paper to back up their
I’ve never done that and never will. It’s unprofessional.
Interviewer; You’ve been attacked by the local paper. What that all
Harry; BAD PR, THE LOCAL MEDIA IS GUILTY ALSO. The local media has a
responsibility to show both sides of each issue. Yet they have failed
miserably in doing this. Every time a statement is made against
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. or myself personally. They print it or discuss it on the
TV, on the radio, or in the newspaper. Yet when I and others have
brought forth documented proof to dispute their statements made against
me or my team members, the media has failed to provide their readers and
viewers with both sides of the issues.
Interviewer; Can you give me an example of what you are talking about?
Example: We’ve responded to Turkey, Honduras, Jamaica, St. Croix USVI.,
and the Dominican Republic. There are no stories done by the local media
on any of those missions. Yet whenever the other K-9 teams do a search,
the media is all over their actions in a positive action. Look at the
coverage NW Medical teams got for responding to the same sites where
we’ve responded. Is this fair?
The Portland Tribune and Gresham Outlook finally became frustrated with
the local law enforcement and SAR team’s lack of results on the Ward
Weaver case. And the one sided articles written by the Oregonian
When I proved to the FBI and OCPD and to the media that my search dog
teams were right all along on the POND / GADDIS search, these newspapers
came forward and wrote the facts about the case to expose the attempted
cover up by unethical dog handlers from the State of Oregon.
The law enforcement teams continue to tell the media, "Oh the bodies
were moved" and "weren't there when the O.S.S.A. teams searched Wards
property". Now you tell me how do you move a body buried in a barrel
under four feet of rocks, dirt and concrete?
Even Wards son admitted his father Ward had killed both girls and buried
Ashley right where my SAR Dog Valorie and I located her remains under
Here’s an example of the one sided reporting done by the Daily News in
Pat, the one-sided idiot reporter, only covers the Sheriff’s statements
and Marty’s statements. But if you look at the documented facts, it
shows that I told the truth the whole time. So where’s the fairness
here? Let’s examine their statements and my responses.
Then you make an informed decision.
Checkered past follows search and rescue worker to Longview
By Pat Forgey
Mar 24, 2005 - 07:46:00 am PST
“It was the stuff of a hero story: Harry E. Oakes and his search dog,
Valorie, finding Honduran flooding victims following Hurricane Mitch in
The Longview dog handler and his canine partner were among the search
teams featured Sunday on "Storm Stories," the Weather Channel top-rated
In the show, firefighters in Honduras praised teams such as Oakes and
Valorie for their rescue work and for taking their dogs to a local
orphanage to cheer up traumatized children.
Despite the favorable portrayal, and Oakes' recent move to the local
area, Oakes is persona non grata in local search and rescue circles.
Officials say they're wary of Oakes' checkered financial past and his
claimed record of success.”
(HERE THE REPORTER SUGGESTS WRONG DOING REGARDING “FINANCIAL PAST and
CLAIMED RECORD OF SUCCESS” Yet when I’ve been audited by the IRS and
DOJ, my records were acceptable to these investigating agencies. So if I
passed their scrutiny, then where’s the problem here?
"He is no longer eligible to do search and rescue in Cowlitz County,
like in a number of other areas," said Art Jordan, volunteer coordinator
for Cowlitz County Search and Rescue and member of the state's Emergency
What Art failed to state in this article was that I have been personally
hired by Cowlitz County SAR to teach their SAR team’s rope rescue on
several occasions and have been involved in numerous searches with their
agency before I went private.
Art failed to note that I was removed from the Washington SAR resource
list after I filed a written complaint to the Governor’s office, against
the Skamania County SAR Coordinator, for his actions where he repeatedly
used poor judgment, that we can prove cost several innocent people their
lives. Now why didn’t Art want that information to come out?
”Oakes, 49, acknowledges that county sheriffs who head up search and
rescue operations often don't like him, but that's because his work is
"Sheriffs often get upset when we come in and find people they can't,"
he said in an interview last week.
Oakes claims to have found the bodies of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis,
two Oregon City girls murdered by neighbor Ward Weaver in 2002, but
others dispute that.
"Nobody used him in Oregon City, because he's not reliable," said Marty
Neiman, with Search One K-9 Detection, an Oregon nonprofit called in by
authorities investigating the case.”
This statement coming from the very same man who told the FBI and OCPD
there wasn’t a body under the concrete slab. Marty Neiman the state of
Oregon’s certification tester? This from the very same person who has
over the years repeatedly gone on talk shows and bad-mouthed Harry every
chance he gets to make himself look better. Shame on you Marty. You make
yourself look bad by not finding the victims in the original search area
in the first place.
”Neiman said Oakes showed up on the scene and volunteered his services
but was not used in the official search. In a later, unofficial search,
Oakes' search results were so general as to be useless, Neiman said.”
Marty states my “search results were to general”. My report states my
search dog gave a death alert where the concrete slab meets the ground
right behind Ward Weaver’s house. How more precise can I get?
In the end, I was 100% correct in reading my dog’s alerts. Marty was
100% wrong. Whose credibility is really under attack here? Not mine.
I’ve repeatedly found victims in the original search areas where Marty
and his teams told the sheriff’ there was no victim to be found. Now why
can our teams go in and find the victim dead when Marty and his teams
”Oakes runs International K-9 Search and Rescue Services, a for-profit
organization, a rarity in search and rescue circles. In fact, Oakes
describes his company as "the only for-profit K-9 search and rescue in
He typically charges $200 an hour for staging and searching, as well as
$25 an hour for travel time, according to his website. He said much of
his work is searching for pets, which Oakes said can be more profitable
than searching for people.
"People won't hesitate paying for a dogs or cat," he said. "People
generally won't pay you to search for their missing child."
Cowlitz County Coroner Mike Nichols, a former Search and Rescue
coordinator for the county, said volunteer search and rescue crews don't
agree with the concept of for-profit search and rescue services.
"Other than Harry Oakes, I don't know of anybody else who hires out to
distraught families and promises to find their kin," Nichols said.”
Why doesn’t Mike tell the reporter how much he gets paid for looking for
missing persons with the Sheriff’s office? Why is that so different? Why
does the National park system and the state of Oregon along with several
other states possess the laws that allow them to CHARGE for search and
”Nichols said Cowlitz County's search and rescue volunteers will look
for anyone who is missing and don't ask for payment. Volunteers tend to
spend a lot of their own money on equipment, training and
transportation. "We only work as volunteers here," he said.”
Again, what Nichols is forgetting to tell everyone is that, he’s paid,
so why is that different? I’ve been through the Law Enforcement
academies, taught SAR for Polk, Morrow, Clark and Skamania Counties. Is
Nichols afraid of the competition?
”Nichols and Jordan said Oakes' reputation in Oregon preceded him when
he came to Washington from Portland a year ago.
"He wasn't welcome within search camps within his own state," Nichols
What Nichols and Jordon forget to say, is;
1). Polk and Clackamas Counties in Oregon. Clark and Skamania Counties
in Washington, along with the National Park Services, used my search dog
teams on a regular basis from 1986 to 1994.
2). ”I wasn’t welcome within search camps within his own state of
Oregon” only after I testified against the Oregon State Sheriff’s
Association on House Bill 3093, where I testified on the mismanagement
of SAR in Oregon that have cost lives. I was told by Lt Neil James
that,” if I testified against the OSSA at the HB hearing, I would never
be used by the O.S.S.A. again”.
I testified and told the truth. The Oregon State Police, The Oregon
Mountain Rescue Council, the Oregon Fire Fighters Association all
supported me in my efforts on HB 3093. Trying to update SAR laws in the
state of Oregon which hadn’t been updated since 1974. Because of my
testimony, the O.S.S.A. refuses to use my services because I made them
look bad in the OREGON SENATE.
In Oregon, Oakes formerly was with Mountain Wilderness Search Dogs and
Help Us Find You, Inc., which both were registered as nonprofit
organizations. In the late 1990s, both came under investigation by the
Oregon Department of Justice, which claimed that Oakes was using the
nonprofits as a tax dodge.”
If that’s true then why have I been audited by the IRS and came out
clean, and have tax records to prove it? We have tax records to show
this is an untrue statement. I pay my taxes like everyone else.
"He uses M.W.S.D. and H.U.F.Y. to avoid paying taxes by virtue of their
tax-exempt status," the department said in a 1997 court settlement with
There was no criminal or civil charges thus no court settlement, so
where does he get his information? This is all public record.
”At the time, the agency said, Oakes did not have a personal bank
account and used the nonprofits' accounts as his own, paying his
personal and living expenses out of them”.
That’s not true. It was my business account under my name that showed
all payments in and out for M.W.S.D.. Why don’t they discuss how my
records proved that I paid for all of the non profit phone bills,
electrical bills, office supplies, postage, and every cent brought in
and spent out was accounted for? They won’t say this because it destroys
”The department signed an order with Oakes forbidding him to represent
himself as a charity of any kind or representing his professional
locating services as a public service.”
The department also helped me start my for profit business, at their
”Oakes said he was cleared by the investigation. We came out squeaky
clean," he said. "There was no criminal action brought against us."
The department did require Oakes to pay $7,500, but suspended the fine
on the condition he not violate the order. Oakes said the fine was never
The DOJ records prove that I was telling the truth.
An Oregon Justice Department concern involved Oakes' search for bodies
at the site of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in
The agency said Mountain Wilderness received a $4,000 donation from a
canine club in Oklahoma. Oakes immediately was reimbursed for $3,000 in
"expenses" he claimed but failed to document, according to the justice
This isn’t true at all. What I did was totally legal per M.W.S.D. non
profit bylaws. The reimbursement was for money M.W.S.D. owed me for the
past year. For the bills I paid out of my own account. Again all money
coming in and leaving M.W.S.D. was accounted for with receipts. Every
single penny was accounted for. Ask the DOJ. They can validate my
statements. They did the audit and said ,”my record keeping was
”Oakes later started International K-9 Search and Rescue Services, his
current for-profit company. The 1997 agreement between Oakes and state
of Oregon bars him from charging anyone for services if he has
volunteered in the search for the same victim.
Oakes, who answers his phone "search and rescue," said he is careful to
make it clear to potential clients that he is not with a government
That’s correct because we’re a professional agency that provides
experience professional services.
“The Weather Channel program made no mention of Oakes' for-profit
status, but it did note that he and a fellow dog handler had to pay
their own way to Honduras. Contributions were not sought on the
Gee, they finally told some truth in this report. We’ve paid for our own
transportation in the Northridge, Honduras, Philippine, Turkey
earthquakes along with the Oklahoma City Bombing disaster.
“Weather Channel spokeswoman Kathy Lane said Oakes' business dealings
were unrelated to its program. "That would have nothing to do with the
story we portrayed," she said. Lane said Towers Productions Inc. of
Chicago produces Storm Stories under contract. Towers officials were
unavailable for comment.
In addition to questions about Oakes' financial dealings, search and
rescue officials have doubts about the quality of Oakes' search work,
said Cowlitz County Sheriff's Deputy Chuck Dunnavant, the county's
search and rescue coordinator.
"He'll point to a spot on the river and say 'He drowned right there,'
and there's no way to prove it," Dunnavant said.”
Why doesn’t Chuck ad that his own dive team verified our search dogs
findings in front of the victim’s families? At the time of our search,
where the divers were told the victims had drowned in 80 feet of swift
current water, the divers found the victims boat and other gear. This
after they failed to find anything before our arrival. Oops, if Chuck
told that truth, it may discount his statement.
”While with Mountain Wilderness, Oakes participated in high-profile
search for two Longview men, Larry Mansur and Dennis Svoboda, who were
missing and presumed dead after a boating accident on the Columbia River
off Cowlitz County in 1996.
During the hunt, Oakes told officials that Valorie had found the spot
where they died, Nichols said. Months later, one of the bodies was found
upriver from that spot, leading local search and rescue personnel to
doubt the validity of Oakes "find."
"I've never heard of a body going upstream," Nichols said.”
Mr. Nichols isn’t a very educated man in regards to water, water
currents, and bodies. Otherwise he never would have made such a stupid
statement. Bodies have repeatedly been documented moving down stream and
upstream with tidal current influences, as well as heavy ship traffic,
that can trap a victim and carry them for miles under their drag loads.
Some bodies have been discovered up to 20 miles away from the site where
they drowned due to ship traffic.
THE OSSA tester and tests aren’t credible. We allowed the O.S.S.A.
Tester to test us on the O.S.S.A. K-9 standards. This after the tester
openly bragged on the "LARS LARSON RADIO TALK SHOW" that, "he would see
that Harry would never pass his tests". This statement was documented
and is on file with MOBA MEDIA.
When I took the O.S.S.A. K-9 test, this individual not only failed me
and my search dog Valorie at the test, but when I asked this individual
(Marty Neiman) to show me where the scent tubes were hidden on the first
cadaver search, the tester failed to find a single one himself. Yet he
was the tester who hid the items and bragged "Harry would never pass any
of his tests". When the scent tubes were finally located and opened in
front of witnesses, we discovered the scent tubes were empty and didn’t
contain any scent at all. The witnesses and myself inspected each tube
in front of Marty. Pam Milleran being one of those witnesses. She also
verified the scent tubes were empty. (This proved Marty tried to set my
search dog Valorie and I up for a failure test). Now how honest is this?
When Valorie and I retook the state cadaver test, Valorie hit on
numerous decomposing sites. When the tester brought out the "SCENT TUBE"
I examined the scent tube for the smell of "pseudo scent", there was no
I’ve been testing with pseudo scent for the last 24 years and is
qualified to determine if it was used or wasn’t used properly. What’s
wrong with this test? Let’s talk about a credibility problem here. The
tester is the same person who over the last 24 years had bad-mouthed me
and my teams for the documented successful work I’ve done locally and
Lars Larson's radio talk show still maintains, "Harry's search teams
can't find a body in a graveyard". Even after I’ve proved I was 100%
accurate on the Ashley Pond Case. So where's the truth in the media
there? This statement came from the very same State Cert. tester who
told OCPD and the FBI (Marty Neiman) that there was, ”no body under the
concrete slab”. Leading the detectives on a false trail and costing the
FBI and OCPD to continue their effortless search at the cost of over
If I.K.9.S.A.R.S. sar dog teams had been brought into the search back in
Jan. 2002 when Ashley Pond first disappeared, I felt we would have
located Ashley's remains like we did, identified the killer(s), and
Miranda Gaddis would still be alive today. The FBI and OCPD would have
been able to do their jobs effectively saving a human life, saving
another woman from being raped, and saving tax payers $175,000 dollars
in the search efforts. We actually documented finding 3 bodies. We
turned over one of the body parts to Oregon City Police Dept. on a third
body we located. This verified by OCPD files and reports. This again
after they (The FBI, Oregon City PD, Search One K-9 Detection and the
other search teams had already searched the area and found nothing).
My search dog and I DESTROYED THE CREDIBILITY OF THE O.S.S.A. K-9
If a person was to believe in the O.S.S.A. test as a true honest test of
a dog team, then that meant that my search dog Valorie and I weren’t
qualified to fly overseas to Turkey in Aug. and Nov. of 1999, and search
for victims buried in the earthquakes.
Yet, it’s been proven through documentation and proof provided by
photos, witness statements, and actual recoveries, info provided to the
Turkish and US Government officials, that in both of the 1999 Turkey
earthquakes, that SAR Dog Valorie and I documented finding 71 buried
dead and 14 live buried victims. Just by SAR Dog Valorie and I making
one single find of a live or dead person, this totally destroys the OSSA
K-9 testing credibility completely.
COURT ROOM PROVEN. My documentation and credibility regarding expert
witness testimony in criminal cases, was established and has held up, in
the Clark County Courtroom Washington State Vs Beeson. And other
criminal court cases where I’ve been called to testify. The state of
Oregon Medical Examiner signed a presumptive death certificate on Dela
Carlson based on my search dog Ranger’s findings of Dela’s remains,
reports and test results. (This after local search teams OSSA, and
Search One K-9 detection teams and failed to find any trace of her).
Fact: We’ve won numerous state, county, and national awards for our work
in search and rescue.
Fact: My teams and I have found most people dead and some still alive in
the ORIGINAL SEARCH AREAS, when the local OSSA K-9 and SAR teams failed
to find them. Tim Bunner, Jay Burroughs, Eddy Zawaski, Joey Lefler,
Butch Huston, Nathen Montz, Eli Kelt, Abe Ellis, Brian Harris, Dela
Carlson, just to name a few victims. Many more on file.
Fact: We’re the only search dog team in the world to win the prestige’s
Higgens and Langley Swift Water Rescue Award, and the National Jefferson
award. We’ve received Two letters from President George Bush Sr. and one
from President Bill Clinton for our outstanding work. We've also
received letters from the President of the Philippines and Honduras for
our rescue efforts in their countries.
Fact: We have the skills to find the missing. We have proven and
qualified ourselves numerous times over the last 7,640 missions. We are
the most successful search dog team in the world in regards to finding
both missing people and pets.
Fact: We're the only dog team in the world, ever to be invited in to
Jamaica to work alongside the Miami office of the FBI, and local police
reference the Claudia Kirshock case
Interviewer: I’ve heard the comment that you are preying on victims in
their time of need”.
Harry; Other comments we’ve heard is, " We’re preying on vulnerable
people during their time of need". My response is this. Any agency,
public or private, which provides professional qualified services to a
family in need, isn't "preying on them in their time of need". If that
is a true, then other professional like us like police officers,
paramedics, doctors, nurses, medical examiners, lawyers, and ministers,
are all preying on these poor people also. So why are their actions any
different? They all either volunteer their time or getting paid to
provide a service to people in need just like we do. We’re no different.
Fact: Each client is given a business contract. They’re required to read
and sign the contract before we start on a search. This contract
explains in detail what we can and cannot provide, and our chances of
success in the search efforts. They also are instructed to retain a copy
of the contract. It also explains what the client will or won’t be
required to pay for the search effort.
FACT: We are a licensed business in the state of Washington to perform
our search and rescue services around the world.
FACT: We have documented donating an average of over $47,000 dollars a
year in SAR Services to our community regarding missing persons and pets
for the last 24 years.
Charlie Ringo (My Attorney) Bend, Oregon. firstname.lastname@example.org Charlie
was with me during the 1998 Oregon D.O.J. AUDIT, and can provide
documented information to show that:
1). We cooperated with the audit.
2). That I have always told the truth in my business dealings and
Of search reports.
3). There were no criminal or civil actions brought against Mr. Oakes
Audit report was completed.
Retired Polk County Deputy Sheriff Bill Sealy. (503) 623-9123 Polk Co.
SAR. (Known Harry for over 10 years). He can testify to Harry's team’s
Kris DeSylvia (503) 231-1600. Email: email@example.com
Kris performed an independent investigation on the Oklahoma City Bombing
Disaster Response by Mountain Wilderness Search Dogs. She can provide
first hand knowledge that Mr. Oakes was honest in his response and what
really occurred there.
Michelle Keating (Dog Handler) Email:firstname.lastname@example.org (360)
256-4822. One of I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Employees. She's been present with Harry
on numerous search missions in the USA and in Honduras. Michelle can
verify Harry’s passing of all I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Documented K-9 tests.
Michelle can attest to their success in Honduras and on numerous other
Susan Royce (K-9 Search & Rescue Coordinator in Alaska). Email: email@example.com
She can verify Harry's teaching abilities and the politics in SAR work.
Marla Petal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Witness to Harry and Val's
numerous finds in Turkey in the first earthquake response.
Riley and Tana Wooten (Group Leader through the Fire Dept. Current
instructor for the Police Academy) Email: email@example.com
Witnessed Harry and Michelle's work in Honduras with their search dogs.
Lives in Missouri. (573) 774-4020.
Mary Kuhn. (Client). Mary can testify to Harry's credibility and work
and the total incompetents of the Clark County Sheriff's office and the
Portland FBI, after her daughter was kidnapped and transported to
MEXICO. Harry assisted in finding the four kidnapped kids and returning
them safely to their families. .
Janice Saukko (503) 458-6137 It was her mother's remains that we found
in the original search area in Clatsop Co. when OSSA State Cert. SAR Dog
teams failed to find her remains and called off their search.
Fact: We have thousands and I mean THOUSANDS of satisfied customers
around the world.
Why hasn’t the media interviewed any of them to get their side of the
story and show that we are honest and brought closure to their cases
when no one else would or could?
Interviewer: Let’s talk for a moment about scent. What is scent?
Harry: Scent is the dead skin cells (10,000 pieces per minute), that is
dropped onto the ground while a person or animal is moving.
Interviewer: How long can scent be detected?
Harry: Inside a structure up to 100 years or longer depending on the
contamination, containment, and environmental conditions. Outside we’ve
successfully detected scent over a hundred years old.
Interviewer: So you’re telling me you’ve detected scent over a hundred
years old? Can you give me a documented example?
Harry: Sure, when I was teaching in St Croix USVI we were there with the
local K9 sar dog teams in training and the local police. My search dog
Valorie went over to an old sugar cane field and alerted at a specific
location. We dug up an old grave. The forensic teams determined these
human remains were buried in the late 1800’s. Back in the days when
slaves were used for labor, if the person died, they were buried right
where they died with no head stone marker. This is what we were told by
the local police. The police believe my dog Valorie located an old slave
grave. This was witnessed by the K9 ST Croix USVI team. They can
validate my findings there.
Interviewer: Some folks are on the belief that a search dog can’t follow
a scent outside after 48 hours. Is this true?
Harry: It’s pure nonsense. We’ve successfully determined a valid track
of a missing person in Vancouver BC Canada after he left his house a
year before we were called in. It was determined that he committed
suicide. Two of our search dogs tracked his scent through a wooded area
to a water source where he drowned himself.
We’ve also documented hundred’s of cases, all validated by law
enforcement, where we’ve tracked a missing person months after they have
disappeared and located their remains.
Interviewer: So why the difference of opinions on scent?
Harry: When I first was being taught how to track, my instructor through
Rocky Mountain Rescue Dogs informed me that no scent could be tracked
after one week. I believed this. But over the 7,580 calls we’ve received
and tracks we’ve completed, we, along with other dogs teams throughout
the world have repeatedly proven this information isn’t true at all.
We repeatedly have success in tracking victims that have disappeared
weeks, months, later from when they disappeared.
Interviewer: What age do you like to start training your search dogs?
Harry: I like to start them as puppies to move through the basics in
socialization and bonding and past the behavior issues of biting,
chewing, peeing, etc. But we’ve trained dogs as old as 10 years old for
Interviewer: What breed of dog makes the best search dog?
Harry: There isn’t one breed that is best. Each breed or mix of breed
offers something different to each search case. Bloodhounds, coon
hounds, beagles, bassets are great trackers and air scenting dogs.
German Shepherds, golden retrievers, labs, standard poodles also have
great tracking noses. We’ve trained all breeds and all mixes for
tracking, trailing and air-scenting.
Everything from a wiener dog for confined space SAR, to a great dane and
everything in between.
I have an active team right now in Kentucky that uses Jack Russell’s.
They are fantastic search dogs because of their drive. I personally use
border collies because of their work drive.
In a rubble site I find the small to medium size dogs can get in and out
of the rubble areas ok. Where the larger breeds such as the Golden
Retrievers and German shepherds have trouble getting into the tight
spots. They can still do a great job, but when you’re crawling through
the confined spaces it’s nice to have your dog by your side to help you
locate live and dead victims.
Interviewer: Do you train your search dogs for one specific task?
Harry: Absolutely not. I think that’s ridiculous. We’re an international
team which means one week we might be in the jungles of the Philippines
looking for buried victims in an earthquake and the next week in
California tracking an Alzheimer patient or searching for a drowning
victim. So all of our dog teams are trained for all aspects of K 9 sar.
They are trained to track, trail, and air scent. They are trained for
live and dead human searches to include forensic scent evidence.
Interviewer: Are you cocky about your attitude in teaching K9 SAR and
working sar dogs?
Harry: Nope not at all. A search dog keeps you humble. I’m very
confident. Some people might portray that as being cocky. Without the
search dog, I’m simply a ground searcher out there searching for
victims. Without me the handler, the dog is just a dog. Together we make
a proven successful search team.
Interviewer: Harry I’ve noticed that you don’t allow pinch collars,
shock collars, choke chains. Why is that?
Harry: I’ve developed a policy and training procedure that’s called
Love, Hugs, and Kisses. We reward our search dogs during training and
work with praise, love, hugs, and kisses. Never food rewards. We don’t
use choke chains, shock collars, or pinch collars as these are cruel.
If you love your dog as you well should, why would you hurt them and
make them respond out of fear instead of love and mutual respect? I’ve
trained thousands of dogs of all breeds with out these mid-evil torture
devices. If you’re training with those devices you are training out of a
fear response. Which is more humane?
Plus collars kill dogs. We’ve lost two search dogs to collars. One got
caught on another search dogs jaw while playing and choked to death. The
other got caught on a fence. So absolutely no collars of any kind are
allowed on our team dogs.
The harness is also used as a seat belt for the dogs. You have control
of the whole dog and we buckle them in to the vehicle or aircraft when
Interviewer: You have been called a real hard ass by your own employees.
Why is that? You do a background check on each volunteer, they all must
be non smokers, no drugs are allowed and if they drink alcohol, they
aren’t allowed anywhere near your training or work sites for a min. of 8
Harry: (Laughing) yes I am. I take our job seriously. We have human and
animal lives at stake. This isn’t a game. This is my career. I take it
seriously. One in every 200 applicants makes it through our training
program. It’s very time consuming. If a handler is under the influences
of drugs they aren’t any good to us. Same with alcohol consumption. I
have a drink now and then when I’m off duty. A beer or glass of wine
with dinner. But I know my limitations. The last thing I need is a drunk
team member trying to rappel over a cliff to rescue someone else.
Interviewer: You’ve documented that you helped write SAR dogs standards
for F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and N.A.S.A.R.
(National Association for Search and Rescue) back in the late 80’s.
Along with standards for NATO Disaster response teams in the 90’s. St
Croix K9 SAR, Turkey K9 SAR, Philippine K9 SAR, and numerous other sar
dog teams through out the world. Why do they turn to you for these
Harry: I was approached by members of FEMA and NASAR in the late 1980’s.
Several people besides myself put our input into these standards.
Interviewer: Then why aren’t you an active member with NASAR or FEMA?
Harry: They have become very political. I hate politics. As you can see
by this interview I deal with ugly politics each and every day. I’m hear
to teach and work my dog teams. Nothing else. I’m hear for the victim(s)
out there. I don’t want to sit behind a desk and wear a suit and tie.
That’s not me.
Interviewer: You use your search dogs to find lost pets?
Harry: Yes we do. They need assistance just like a missing human do.
Interviewer: Why is it that only a few teams in the USA use their search
dogs to find both missing people and lost pets? I don’t understand this.
Why isn’t everyone doing it?
Harry: Some teams believe that searching for a pet or animal will
destroy your credibility in the courtroom. I’ve found this not to be
true at all. It’s never ever been an issue. In fact just the opposite.
When you can track a missing dog who has been missing for over a week
through down town Portland, Oregon right to where it is being held, that
proves your search dogs tracking abilities. We’ve done this over and
over again all documented by date, time, location, names of people and
pets involved and search results. At no time has it ever affected our
credibility in the courtroom.
The truth of the matter is the folks that don’t want to track pets are
lazy. They don’t feel it’s important enough for them to go walking in
the rain, snow, and hot sun to do the job. Which doesn’t make sense to
me. They have a search dog.
If their dog comes up missing what are they going to use to go find it?
Scent is scent to a search dog. Whether you’re searching for a live or
dead victim or evidence at a crime scene such as a knife, human remains,
hair, teeth or a firearm. The search dog doesn’t care.
I feel it has made us better searchers for missing people. You are out
there looking for scent and scent evidence. (Clues to confirm why your
search dog is tracking the direction it is tracking).
Do you want someone out there who tracks missing people four times a
month or missing people and lost pets twice a day each and every day?
Most search dog teams have an average success of 25%. We have a
documented success average of 97%. That’s either finding the missing
person or pet or determining what really happened to them. Picked up,
where, alive or dead, etc.
Interviewer: In one of your cases you tracked a missing person who was
in a car. Can this really be done?
Harry: Yes. I’ve actually done this successfully on 3 missing person
cases and on 15 missing pet cases to where we found what or who we were
looking for. One was a little girl who had been kidnapped in Kentucky.
Tracking a scent escaping from a vehicle takes a long time. A lot of
hours actually tracking and is very dangerous. It’s also very hard on
the search dog’s feet. Pounding the pavement so to speak. Because of the
danger involved I rarely do this kind of tracking. Many tracking teams
throughout the USA have done it successfully and I have been teaching
teams how to track missing persons in vehicles since 1990.
Interviewer; I’ve reviewed your record keeping, your photos, your
awards, letters, and must say, I’m very impressed. Why do you do this
job when everyone appears to hate you for doing it?
Harry; I grew up in the Military. I was involved in the Cub scouts, Boy
Scouts, and Explorer Programs. I worked in the Military when I became of
age to serve our nation and then got out of the Army to work as a police
officer. I find the work rewarding. I still believe in GOD, APPLE PIE,
and the American Way. I believe in Truth, Justice, and above all, I have
to answer to God when all is said and done. And I’m damn proud of my
achievements. I’ve saved countless lives around the world and in the
end, I can say I have made a difference. I’ve spent my own money,
donated countless hours to serve mankind.
Interviewer; Do you have anything to ad that you want the public to
Harry: Yes, if anyone has anything to say to me, or about me, then say
it directly to my face. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org my phone#
Make sure you bring documentation that will hold up in the courtroom.
Because everything I’ve said here will.
Interviewer: We’ll on that note I’m going to end the interview. I want
to thank you for your time and on behalf of the people you have provided
service to, I want to say “THANK YOU for a job well done”. I’m very
impressed.” Good Luck in your future endeavors.
Harry; Thank you
Our mission in life continues to help others in their time of need, “So
others may live”.
Office of Emergency Management
International K-9 Search and Rescue Services.
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Harry’s Yahoo 360 blog re SAR.
Photos of Harry’s search dog teams in action.
Before your child comes up missing, identify them. If a child is
missing, send us the information. We search for missing children and
Write us at email@example.com and we’ll send your our free child id
If you know of anyone who is missing a human or pet family member please
feel free to pass on our web site to them. Thank You.
www.Ifsao.org view our work in Honduras
For a current list
of our successful missing persons searches write us at