Western Montana


SAR Dog Bios


"Ruby," a black lab, is trained for trailing (scent discrimination), land cadaver, avalanche and water search. During the last few years, Deb (with Ruby's help) has enjoyed teaching water search classes in the U.S. and Canada. Together, they've made many new friends and have learned a lot from dog handlers from other regions.

Ruby has sepnt many hours working from all types of boats. Although a capable all-around SAR dog, Ruby is probably most well-known as a water search dog.

To read about one of Ruby's searches click here.


"Dawson" is an enthusiastic and exuberant five-year old chocolate labrador retriever. He belongs to Jennifer Mefford who is a member of Missoula County Search and Rescue. "Dawson" is currently certified for area search and is actively working towards achieving operational status in avalanche and cadaver.

"Dawson's" handler, Jen, gained valuable experience spending time with CARDA (the California Rescue Dog Association). "Dawson" is a valuable asset to CBSD group, as well as Missoula County Search and Rescue.


"Luke"is a male GSD who specializes in area search and avalanche. "Luke" and his handler, Kim Skyelander (a founding member) recently moved to Northern Michigan where they continue to pursue new SAR challenges.

We wish them well in their new adventures and look forward to training with them again whenever they visit Montana.


"Fergus" is an operational SAR dog with Missoula County SAR. She is trained for avalanche, article-evidence, cadaver, tracking/trailing, wilderness (air-scenting), and water search.

"Fergus" is the oldest dog in the group and therefore the most experienced. "Fergus" has an excellent reputation and is frequently called from around the state and sometimes for out-of-state searches. Her handler is Deb Tirmenstein from Frenchtown, Montana.