Join the Team

Thank you for your interest to get involved!

Being a member of the Maine Search & Rescue Team can certainly be rewarding and gratifying, but it is also challenging work that will require a considerable time commitment.

If you don’t have a dog, but are thinking of getting one for search and rescue work, contact us for guidance before you get your dog. You will learn a lot about various breeds that will be useful in making a decision. There are several breeds and breed mixes that work well in search and rescue. You will be able to see them in action and talk with their owners.

If you have a dog that you are thinking of using, is it a suitable dog for search and rescue work? Our standards and evaluation procedures contain a lot of information about requirements for both handlers and their dogs.

Consider the questions below as you evaluate whether you want to join. These questions are not asked to dissuade you, but rather to ensure that you have the time, dedication, and energy to be successful. Lives may depend on it.

To Apply:

Download, print, and fill out our
application form (PDF).

Please return your application by
U.S. Mail to:
Leslie Howe
274 Epping Rd.
Columbia, ME 04623


  1. Do you have the time to commit to working with a dog on a daily basis with obedience and several times a month on search and rescue training exercises? You will need lots of time and energy.
  2. Are you willing to spend money on equipment and are you willing to travel all over the state of Maine? MESARD trainings take place every month, sometimes in remote locations. Searches may be anywhere in the state.
  3. Are you willing to train and work in conditions that are extremely physically demanding and that may be uncomfortable? Are you willing to search in the woods on a cold, rainy night? Searches rarely occur in ideal conditions!
  4. Are you able to respond with only a few minutes notice to a search anywhere in the state? MESARD dog teams are emergency responders who need to respond when the search happens, not days later when it is convenient for them to respond. You home and work life need to have flexibility. Lost and missing people depend on our response.

We appreciate your interest in MESARD. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.