SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WECT) - The Shallotte Fire Department added two K9′s, A.T. and Charlie, to their search and rescue team in January.
“They have served dozens of missions," said Cynthia Kipp, Volunteer with Shallotte Fire Search & Rescue. “We use them for search missions, walk-aways for people from nursing homes...we’ve even been called by the police department to local burial, shallow graves.”
In the days before Hurricane Florence, the fire and police departments combed the woods in search of homeless to get the out of harms way. They found seven different locations with camps set up. The two dogs repeated their mission earlier this month again ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
“We took the dogs around the whole area and made sure we weren’t missing anybody,” explained Jim Ware, Volunteer with Shallotte Fire Search & Rescue. "We left behind information on where the shelters were and phone numbers to call and also, we told them if we didn’t hear from them, we’d come back and check on them later.”
Luckily, the dogs didn’t find anyone because the camps were already abandoned ahead of the storm.
“We’ll definitely use them again," Kipp said. "We’ll check the spots and recheck them because some of the places had been abandoned and showed obvious signs that someone was there. We’ll use our dogs pre-hurricane and post-hurricane, if there’s any collapsed structure, to help get people out faster and help the firefighters. It’s so amazing what a dogs nose can do it can locate a person so we want to be able to use that.”
At the end of September, A.T. and Charlie will head to Virginia to attend water recovery training, spending a week on the water.