Pictured from left: Sandy and Kiah, Karen and Sophie, Sue and Annie, Tiffany and Lylah, Kim and Violet, & Sarah and Mookie.
Search Team History
Back in the 1990’s Karen started training search dogs with an Allegheny Pennsylvania search team, which was a two and a half hour drive from her home. Seeing there was also a need for something like this in her area, she started a team of volunteers under the name N.E.O.S.A.R., or North East Ohio Search and Rescue.
In 1998 N.E.O.S.A.R. became a part of the Mecca, OH Volunteer Fire Department and is now the Mecca K9 Team. This team is called out by Trumbull County 911 dispatch when a missing person call comes in.
Even with today’s technology there is still a need for search dogs! A search dog can tell a team in which direction to start looking for the victim, and assist the handler by following the human scent trail.
Scent trails are generally made up of rafts, or dead skin cells, that are shed as part of the natural biological process of the skin renewing itself.
Search dogs can follow a scent trail that is two days old and, with experience, can even track the missing person’s scent when other people and animals have walked through the same area.
Our Search Dog Team
Sophie loves the water and to work. Her nickname is Psycho Sophie.
Her handler is Karen Lutz.
She became a search & rescue K-9 at 1 1/2 years old and is still active on the Mecca Fire Department K-9 team.
Annie’s handler is Sue Treharn.
Kiah is a five year old Australian Shepherd. She has been an active member of the Mecca K-9 Search team since 2012, and is trained to air scent for live human scent.
Kiah loves her work as a search dog and her favorite activities include taking walks with her family members and playing fetch and frisbee.
Kiah’s handler is Sue Mancini.
He loves the water and tennis balls.
His handler is Sarah Harrison.
Violet is a six year old Weimeraner-Lab mix who has been active on the search team since 2013, and is an air scenting dog for live scent.
Violet was adopted from a rescue at age two. She trained to become a therapy dog before she became a search dog.
Violet enjoys cuddling, belly rubs, and lots of treats.
Her handler is Kim Harrison.
Our Retired Search and Rescue Dogs
She loves being petted and fed.
Hayley is a 12 year old Back Lab mix.
At seven weeks old she was on her way to a rescue when Sue said she would adopt her. Hayley started training at three months old and became a member of the search team at 16 months old.
Hayley retired at the age of nine. She is enjoying her retirement at home with her owner/handler, Sue Treharn.
Lucy is retired but doesn’t know that yet… she still goes to training but does not go out on “real” searches.
Lucy lives with her owner/handler Sue Treharn, where she loves to boss her mother Dakota, Hayley, and her best friend Annie around.