MEDFORD, Ore. — Two Jackson County Search and Rescue canine units have returned after helping in the Washington landslide. The teams arrived at the scene on March 31 to help search teams and worked three full days at the site.
The dogs, Abby and Lily, are specially trained to track the scent of human remains. Their main job while at the site was to try to find victims under the deep mud and debris and alert their handlers. Both teams said this was one of the largest missions they have ever participated in.
Though the volunteer handlers said they are trained for these types of situations, they said it was still hard to deal with the tragic situation.
“I don’t think you can help but be affected by the sense of sorrow and sadness because you are in a location where dozens of people lost their lives,” said Lily’s handler Mike Evans.
At least 35 people were killed in that mudslide on March 22, and there are still several that are missing.
President Obama plans to visit the site and will meet with the families affected by the mudslide as well as first responders and recovery workers on April 22nd.