Following the sudden and tragic loss of our first SARA WF Search and Rescue K9 'Dyno' in December 2018, we are pleased to introduce our Search dog currently in training called 'Bracken'.
Bracken was very kindly donated by a specialist farm for breeding Border Collies in Scotland, with a proud history of breeding Mountain Rescue dogs. He was selected by highly experienced Scottish Mountain Rescue volunteer, Rod Stoddart MBE (a friend of Matt and SARA) for his character and potential to make an excellent search dog.
It takes around 3 years to become a fully trained search dog and Bracken is currently approximately 6 months into his journey. It costs up to £25,000 to get a highly training search dog such as Bracken up to the required standards with British International Rescue Dogs. Bracken also regularly trains with a humanitarian response charity known as Serve On, which Matthew fits in alongside his job as a gardener.
The intention is once fully trained and qualified, Bracken will be a Lowland search and rescue dog for SARA Wyre Forest on call 24/7 for West Midlands and West Mercia Police to help to find missing people.
Bracken will have to pass a strict obedience acceptance test and also a stock test to show that he had no interest in sheep, quite a challenge, especially being a Border Collie”. Matt says "We work closely with dog handler instructors within West Midlands Police and West Mercia Police to ensure the highest standards are met". SARA Wyre Forest, will continue to fully support the hard work and dedication shown by Matt; all assets available to this team will be deployed during our response to search and rescue of those in danger.
Registered Charity No. 505504
What is SARA?
SARA is an Inshore Rescue boat and Land Search organisation covering the Severn and Wye Valleys, with stations at Wyre Forest, Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Sharpness, Newport and Beachley.