Yaw and Salsa quickly moved into the surrounding neighborhoods, ready to help rescue others in need — a way of giving back, perhaps, because Salsa is a rescue dog.
Salsa is one of the many success stories to come out of the NDSDF, a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to function. The NDSDF’s website says that it “recruits dogs from across the country that are rescued from abuse or abandonment.”
Guide Dogs of America gave Salsa to the NDSDF, and two of her coworkers on Oklahoma Task Force 1 OK-TF1, Elvis and Royce, were recruited from California’s Santa Barbara Animal Care and Control.
Other OK-TF1 dogs were rescued from similar situations around the country. Now, all nine rescued dogs have the opportunity and skills to return the favor and rescue others.
The extensive training for a rescue dog is not cheap, costing between $10,000 and $15,000 to train a single SAR K9.
“They’re basically a dog out of the box,” Yaw said. “They are extremely, highly trained.”
NDSDF then provides free extensive, ongoing support and training to the dog’s handler — usually a firefighter or other first responder.
Holli Pfau, handler, has several rescue dogs and has written a book titled “Pure Gold: Adventures with Six Rescued Golden Retrievers.” Pfau, who lives in Colorado, is dedicating proceeds of her June book sales to NDSDF in support of the organization and tornado survivors. The book can be ordered online at puregoldbook.com.
“It’s a wonderful way to support their (NDSDF’s) work in rescuing homeless dogs and rescuing humans. It brings the relationship full circle,” Pfau said.
And the circle will be redrawn every time OK-TF1’s group of 125 search and rescue volunteers comprising 13 teams mobilizes state or nationwide at a moment’s notice in response to disasters.
For more information about the NDSDF, to donate or to volunteer, visit searchdogfoundation.org/ index.html.