Love Dogs? Help train a Search & Rescue animal!

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If you love dogs, you will love to see our specialist search dogs learning how to find vulnerable missing people in the woods and fields. We are called out to help Essex Police about once a week to look for people who may be lost, suffering from dementia or in distress. 

To be effective, we have to train our search dogs to a high standard. They need to use their wonderful noses to follow a trail along the ground, or find a missing person by detecting their scent in the air. And this is where you come in!

We need people to act as missing people for our dogs to find during training sessions. We will introduce you to the team and the dogs. Then we will follow a dog with you as it is training and explain what is happening. And you can ask us any questions about the dogs and our work.

After this we will take you to a spot in the woods or fields and ask you to hide there. We provide a comfy yoga mat so you are not laying directly on the ground! We are never far away from you, and we also lend you a two-way a radio so we can keep in touch.

We train each Sunday.  Typically you will hide for two, three or four dogs to find, so it is a good idea to bring a book and a drink with you. If you are able to stay all day, bring a snack too, but if you are only able to give us a morning or an afternoon that will still be a tremendous help. We also train some Tuesday evenings.

You don’t need to come to every session. We will be pleased if you can just come along from time to time, once a month or six weeks (of course if you want to come to every session, please do!).

So if you love dogs, and want to try something a bit different, please get in touch. We will provide more information and answer any questions when we hear from you. We will be very pleased to welcome you, and you will not just be helping us, you will be helping us to help vulnerable missing people.

What skills do I need?

A love of dogs, and a willingness to spend a few hours outside to help us to help missing people.

All training provided.


  • Accessibility
  • Data Protection policy
  • DBS check required
  • Equal opportunities policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Suitable for under 18s
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 05/02/2015

End Date: 01/07/2022

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No No Yes
Afternoon No No No No No No Yes
Evening No Yes No No No No No

Availability Details

We have at present the following training venues which are rotating weekly: Hatfield Forest, Hainault Forest, Blakes Wood in Danbury and Lord Petre's Estate in Fryerning near Ingatestone.


This opportunity is available Countywide.

Posted for
Essex Search & Rescue

Register your Interest


  • Civic Responsibility and Communities
  • Emergency Response
  • Employment, Education and Training
  • Environment
  • No specific interest
  • Wildlife and Animals


  • General Helping
  • Practical Skills
  • Supporting Charities
  • Supporting People and Befriending

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