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     Gail McCarthy, Canine Handler

            Massachusetts Canine Response Team, Inc.
            FEMA Massachusetts Task Force 1




FEMA Massachusetts Task Force 1 (Canine Search Specialist, 1995 - To Date)
Massachusetts Canine Response Team (Co-Founder/Vice President, 1998 - To Date)
Northeast Wilderness Search & Rescue (Charter Member/Board of Directors, 1999 - To Date)
Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Committee (Chairperson, 1999 - To Date)
1st Special Response Group, Inc. (Canine Handler, 1999 - To Date)
California Swiss Search Dog Association, Inc. (Supporting Member, 1999 - To Date)
Canine Search & Recovery, Inc. (Individual Member, 1998 - To Date)
Network of Canine Detection Services, Inc. (Supporting Member, 1998 - To Date)
National Search and Rescue Association, Inc. (Individual Member, 2001 - To Date)

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06/92 - 11/96       Search Dogs Northeast (Initial Search Dog Training)
08/95 - To Date  FEMA MA TF 1 (Continuing Search Dog Training)
11/96 - 02/98       Disaster & Wilderness GroundSearchers 
                            (Co-Founder/Continuing Search Dog Training)
02/98 - To Date  Massachusetts Canine Response Team
                            (Co-Founder/Continuing Search Dog Training)

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10/93    NASAR Fundamentals of Search and Rescue, Springfield, MA
01/94    Winter Survival Course, Burlington, VT
07/94    Alzheimer Awareness Course, MEMA, Framingham, MA
09/94    Crime Scene Preservation, SARA, Framingham, MA
09/95    Berkshire Mountain 3-Day Conference, BMSAR, Pittstown, MA
10/95    Canadian SAR Scene, Montreal, Canada
11/95    First Responder, HIRT, Waltham, MA
09/96    State Mock Search, SARA, Ft. Devons, MA
05/97    FEMA Canine Specialist Course, FEMA. Camp Atterbury, Ill.
05/98    UDC Air-Scent Seminar, St. Louis, Ill
06/98    Willy Grundherr Disaster Dog Seminar, MO TF 1/NE TF 1, Lincoln, NE
06/98    FEMA Disaster Dog Seminar, NE TF 1, Lincoln, NE
11/98    Canine First Aid, PDPC, Wayland, MA
12/98    Cadaver Seminar, CSI, Charlottesville, VA
05/99    Maine State SAR Training, MESARD, Portland, ME
08/99    Cadaver Seminar, CSI, Charlottesville, VA
09/99    Berkshire Mountain 3-Day Conference, BMSAR, Pittstown, MA
11/99    New England Working Dog Seminar, CSI, Suffield, CT
03/00    Working Dog Seminar, CSI, Holly Springs, AR
08/00    SAR Introduction Seminar, NEWSAR, Pittston, VT
08/00    Cadaver Seminar, CSI, Frankenmuth, MI
09/00    Disaster Dog Scenario-Based Search Dog Training, CSI, Midland, MI
10/00    ARDA Annual Conference & Working Dog (GSD) Seminar,
             SARDOM, La Plata, MD
05/01    Crime Scene Preservation, MSP, New Braintree, MA
09/01    Berkshire Mountain Conference, BMSAR, Pittstown, MA

04/02    Rebman/Koenig Basic Cadaver 56-Hour Course, Stroudsburg, PA
05/02    Jonni Joyce Water Seminar, Windsor Locks, CT
05/02    UDC SAR Cadaver Seminar, Fall River, MA
04/03    Rebman/Koenig Advanced Cadaver 56-Hour Course, Stroudsburg, PA

09/03    HRD Scenario Training, Rescue & Recovery Search Dogs, Media, PA
02/04    NEWSAR POD Factoring Class, Beverly, MA
08/04    NEWSAR Annual Conference, Pittsford, VT

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10/93   NASAR SAR Tech III, Springfield, MA
04/95   First Responder, HIRT, Waltham, MA
05/97   FEMA Canine Disaster Certification, Level II, Camp Atterbury, Ill
                (K9 Harlow)
08/96   Map and Compass Certification, DFW, Gardner, MA
06/97   Map and Compass Certification, DFW, Gardner, MA
09/98   Ropes I Certifications, FEMA, New Bedford, MA
07/99   Hazardous Materials Awareness, FEMA, Beverly, MA
04/00   NASAR SAR Tech II, Washington, DC
05/00   Certified Massachusetts State Air-Scent Wilderness Dog (K9 Harlow)
                (Certified under Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Standards)
06/00   Annual CPR Certification, American Red Cross, Wilmington, MA
12/00   40-Hour Hazardous Materials OSHA Course/Basic First Aid/CPR,
            EBI, Cambridge, MA
12/00   Basic First Aid/CPR Certification, EBI, Cambridge, MA
05/01   8-Hour Refresher Hazardous Materials OSHA Course,
            OcuServe, Waltham, MA  (Also, Facemask Fitness Certification)
07/01   Annual CPR Certification, American Red Cross, Haverhill, MA
12/01   MASSARDF Certified Massachusetts State Basic Level Cadaver Dog   (K9 Xoe)
              (Certified under Massachusetts State Search and Rescue Dog Federation Standards)
02/02   First Responder & CPR, Medford Hospital, MA
03/02   8-Hour Refresher Hazardous Materials OSHA Course, OcuServe, Wilmington, MA

04/02   Rebman/Koenig Basic Cadaver Proficiency Test, Stroudsburg, PA (K9 Xoe)
02/03   MASSARDF Certified Massachusetts State Advanced Level Cadaver Dog   (K9 Xoe)
              (Certified under Massachusetts State Search and Rescue Dog Federation Standards)

03/03   8-Hour Refresher Hazardous Materials OSHA Course, On-Line Course, DEP

11/03   FEMA Canine Disaster Certification, Level II, MetroDade-FLTF1, FL  (K9 Bacco)

03/04   8-Hour Refresher Hazardous Materials OSHA Course, On-Line Course, DEP

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09/01   Massachusetts State Senate Citation:  For personal dedication in
            the promotion of Volunteer Canine SAR in the Commonwealth of

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Available upon request

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Xane van't Enclavehof

K9 Team "Xoe"
Certified Specialty Cadaver Dog
(Passive Touch /Bark Alert)

(Born: December 21, 1999 -     )


   *MASSARDF Basic Level State Cadaver Certification
        (December 2001)

*Rebman/Koenig Proficiency Test (April 2002) 

*MASSARDF Advanced Level State Cadaver Certification
         (February 2003)

Additional training: 

               *In training to FEMA Level II Standards 
                (Performs Directional Work; Confident on Agility; and
                 Confident on Rubble)

              *In Water Recovery Training since January 2001

More photos of K9 Xoe can be seen by visiting our "Photo Gallery."


Reprinted with the permission of the Nashua Telegraph 2001

K9 Team "Bacco"
FEMA Level I Disaster/Wilderness
     (Bark Alert) 
(Born: May 27, 2000 -       )


                    *FEMA Canine Disaster Certification, Level II,
                                  MetroDade-FLTF1, FL

   Additional training:

      *In training as a Wilderness Dog since May 2001 (Bark Alert)

More photos of K9 Bacco can be seen by visiting our "Photo Gallery."

Each dog in your life teaches you a tremendous amount, not only about themselves, but your own strengths and weaknesses as well.  The following two Dobermans were no different -- and I want to thank each of them for all that they unstintingly gave me over the years. Each of these dogs gave me opportunities to do things -- and to learn things -- that I never would have been able to experience without them. I also would like to thank Shirley Hammond (CARDA/FEMA), Sandra Anderson (CSI/GLSAR) and Elaine Sawtell (FEMA), and all the many, many other people who offered me their time, and their wisdom, as I worked through the training challenges each of these dogs posed. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Elizabeth Shepherd and Dr. Jeffrey Giles, and all the many other people at Highland Animal Hospital, Needham, Massachusetts, each of whom stitched and stitched and re-stitched all of my dogs and who graciously rose to the challenge of keeping my SAR dogs sound and who always responded to any crisis with professionalism and with skill and who always understood the importance I placed on top quality care.

                                                                     Thank you one and all.

Ch. Patriot's Stars 'N Stripes, ROM CD AD CGC FFB V1B VCX  SAR


Retired K9 "Banner" (Black/Tan Doberman)
*Wilderness Search*
BIS Ch. Platinum's Back in Black CDX ROM CGC x Am/Can. Ch. Dabney's Don't U Dare Trump v Aria WAC
(Born: July 28, 1991 -  September 5, 2001)

Banner was my first SAR dog.  He was quite a handful as a young pup and he walked in our front door with that classic Doberman confidence and immediately took charge of our entire household.  Although he was always a gentlemen, Banner also came equipped with a fully developed sense of humor and we learned early on that we had to watch where we put our potholders and hand towels as he was quite a thief.  One of his biggest joys was quietly sneaking in the kitchen, stealing a potholder and then shaking it in our faces if we did not spot him quick enough!! Initially purchased as a show dog, Banner finished his championship in style with Gwen DeMilta by going back-to-back BOW down on the Florida Sunshine Circuit winning over 120 other Dobermans each show to earn two 5-point majors. Banner also passed his WAC test with ease and, because his drives were so good and he was such a stable dog, Banner easily switched from trotting around the manicured show ring to ranging effortlessly through rough backwoods terrain when my interests shifted to search and rescue.  Early in his training, Banner was once described as the dog who could find "anyone, anywhere, anytime" after Banner found a mock "subject" within twenty minutes in the pitch dark, even though the person had buried himself three feet under dirt and brush -- the amount of time typically allowed for such a problem was two hours! On another occasion, Banner found a mock "subject" who was hidden in a deep cave, well over one mile down an old logging road even before I had gotten my compass out of my pocket!  Banner was a big-moving, big-ranging SAR dog, who loved people and who would effortlessly search through tough brush or rocky terrain looking for them.   

As my first SAR-dog, Banner taught me a tremendous amount about how refind dogs should be trained, especially high-drive dogs that work out-of-sight.  Suffering at the end from CVI and from cancer, Banner remained a very gentle, patient dog that only wanted to be by your side.  Banner truly was an ambassador for all Doberman Pinschers and I will always love my dear, sweet dog and carry him in my heart forever.

“Banner” was owned by Gail McCarthy, Massachusetts.

More photos of K9 Banner can be seen by visiting our "Photo Gallery."

Alisaton Star-Trip v Dalclar, CD WAC VC AD CGC USAR FEMA Level II Disaster Readiness Evaluation, MASARD State Certified Air-Scent Wilderness  

Retired K9 "Harlow" (Black/Tan Doberman) and Gail McCarthy
*Former FEMA Level II Dog*
*Former Massachusetts State-Certified Wilderness Dog*
 (BIS Ch. LeMils D Triple Threat x Ch. Lastar's Pantera
(Born: December 7, 1992 -  September 11, 2001)

In light of the twin terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the need for urban search and rescue (USAR) trained disaster dogs is underscored.  Sadly, one such USAR dog, Harlow, died with dignity on the same day as the 9-11 Terrorist Attacks after a long, and valiant, fight with dilated cardiomyopathy. 

In 1997, Harlow passed the FEMA Level II Disaster Readiness Evaluation after only 13 months of training and became a certified USAR dog with the FEMA Massachusetts Task Force 1.  In May 2000, Harlow passed the Massachusetts SAR Dog Wilderness Certification Test and became a wilderness certified dog with the Massachusetts Canine Response Team, Inc.  As a state resource, Harlow responded to several missing person searches before being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in October 2000 and retiring from all search and rescue training.  One of Harlow's most notable searches was the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse Fire in December 1999 where Harlow, along with search canines from the Massachusetts and Connecticut State Police, searched for six firefighters who had lost their lives in the devastating fire which destroyed the warehouse.  Each of the canines rotated into the building throughout an eight-day period as excavation efforts slowly cleared the building of burned material.  All of the canines performed well and areas of interest correlated with the locations where the missing firefighters were ultimately found. 

At the time of her retirement, Harlow had been in USAR and wilderness training for over five years and had been trained in human remains detection for almost three years.  Extremely task-oriented with a fanatical ball-drive, Harlow was a tremendously reliable search dog who intrinsically loved to search yet was controllable with the whispered word.  Not a mean bone in her body, she was always eager and excited to work -- all I had to do was reach for her SAR-collar and she was ready to go.  And, the focus and intensity she brought to her work was never marginal -- she always put in 150% effort into whatever was asked of her.  In fact, I often defined the word "drive" for others by having them watch Harlow peel-off on a search problem.  And, it was because of her intensity and the unmitigated joy that she always brought to her work that I never tired of watching her do all those many, many rocketing runaways, some of which could be hundreds of yards long, or watching her range far out ahead of me as she worked a scent plume in a large 40-acre sector.  Harlow loved to search and she never quit trying to work out a search-problem -- and, until the time came that I had to retire her, Harlow proved over and over again that she could detect fringe scent from something as small as a tooth, lock onto it and follow it independently to source. Given all of Harlow's training and experience, Harlow would have worked the World Trade Center looking for survivors alongside the rest of FEMA MA TF 1 had she not died that same day.  Instead, she gave watch over all the other SAR dogs that did work the site and I know she helped lead innocent souls to heaven on that terrible day. 

Over the years together, Harlow became the love of my life. She was my best friend, my flagship and we had a Zen-like, magical relationship that all who saw us work could see.  Her love for me was absolute and there was nothing that she would not do for me.  I only had to "think" something and Harlow would just "know" what needed to be done.  When doing directional work, she was as easy to direct as a butterfly.  Her death, then, ripped my heart out.  Though now gone, Harlow's memory survives still and others who knew her also miss her focus and her zest for life.  Even Harlow's non-doggy fellow FEMA rescue workers respected her work ethic and one firefighter, after learning of her death, wrote, "Harlow's death will never be a blip on our radar screen - we will always miss her.  She was one of us." 

Harlow, you were a sparkle in my life.........

“Harlow” was owned by Gail McCarthy, Massachusetts. 

More photos of  K9 Harlow can be seen by visiting our "Photo Gallery."  And, you can read articles about K9 Harlow and Gail by clicking on the following Articles:

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