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Ohio Special Response Team Search K-9 Achieves “First in Nation” Credential!

OSRT Search K-9, Besa has become the first K-9 to achieve the “Human Trafficking” qualification from the United States Police Canine Association. Besa's handler, Sarah Gentry accompanied her through a grueling series of tests to determine how well Besa could locate people in hidden rooms, hidden inside vehicles with the windows closed, and hidden in an outdoor setting. Besa passed with flying colors!! Like Besa, many of the OSRT K-9s have extensive training in locating a person hidden outdoors as well as inside buildings. That type of training is critical to the success of K-9s integrated into search and rescue teams.

Human trafficking is a serious problem world-wide and, most definitely in the United States. Annually, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children managed over 28,000 missing children cases. In Ohio, alone, NCMEC assisted with more than 1,700 cases of missing children in 2023. In the United States, the Human Trafficking Hotline received reports from more than 23,000 trafficked individuals.

While a significant percentage (as many as 95%) of missing children are safely recovered, there remain altogether too many who simply never reappear. What's more, frequently, the trafficked adults are at risk of slipping through the investigative cracks without someone or group advocating on their behalf. Highly skilled search K-9s such as Besa can step up police response by expanding law enforcement capabilities in conducting physical searches of hidden victims during interactions with suspected traffickers.

And the beat goes on...

Incidentally, Sarah and Besa, as well as the other eight OSRT search K-9s, have had to invest hundreds of hours and extensive personal finances in registration fees, and traveling to training and certification programs, as well as food and lodging for multi-day events. This, on top of hundreds of hours spent training within the OSRT K-9 team as well as integrating with the seven state-wide OSRT search and rescue ground units.

Your tax-deductible contributions to OSRT could help us help you and your neighbors in times of need. Please gift your tax-deductible donation via our website. All funds are used to acquire much needed equipment and to assist search team members in funding advanced training.


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