K9 Division


The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (ALCO SAR) K9 Team respond to over 20 searches every year. Requests include searches for missing hikers, hunters, children, cognitively impaired people and the despondent, in addition to forensic cases, accidents and disasters. The K9 Division has over 15 certified teams (handler and K9) that respond in and out of county on behalf of ALCO SAR. The dogs and handlers are certified in one of several disciplines: Area (general air scent), Trailing (scent specific tracking), Land and Water Human Remains detection, and local Disaster.

Typically teams are certified by the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) which is a non-profit statewide organization affiliated with the State of California’s Emergency Management Agency. Training as a K9 team is intensive. It generally takes 18 to 24 months for a first time handler and K9 to become certified in an initial discipline. In addition, ALCO SAR K9 team members must complete the ALCO SAR Basic Academy, and meet all the requirements of an Operational Field SAR Ground Searcher for ALCO SAR.

These professionals and their K9 partners participate in community outreach efforts such as educational events, skill demonstrations and fundraisers.

For more information on the ALCO SAR K9 Team, please contact the Deputy SAR Coordinator at (925) 803-7800.