Oso Search and Rescue Dogs Fundraiser

Raise funds to support SCVSARK9: the K9 Search and Rescue Team in Snohomish, WA, after the devastating mudslide in Oso, WA.
Susan Maughlin Wood
Email Verified
Oso, Washington
United States
1 Team Member
This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Snohomish County Volunteer Search & Rescue Unit Inc, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.

A rescue dog searches for survivors or victims in the debris field. Photo: JOSHUA TRUJILLO, SEATTLEPI.COM Used with permission.

Search, Rescue, Recovery

I have a visceral reaction to such devastating natural disasters as the one in Oso, because it was a mudslide that killed my dad many years ago. 

The Oso mudslide was a catastrophe for the communities in Oso and Darrington, WA. In terms of dealing with the consequences, the word "incomprehensible" comes to mind. Steadfast in all the turmoil have been the hardworking search and recovery dogs. I want to recognize and honor their heroic efforts and that of their trainers at the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 division.

It takes a lot to support a dog team. My goal is to raise $2014 for SCVSAR K9, and every cent (after Indiegogo and Paypal fees) raised will go there regardless of whether the minimum goal amount is reached. You are given the option to give any dollar amount you choose (straight donations are 100% tax deductible) or you can select from the list of perks and specific dollar amounts.

What Kind of Person...

...Trains a SAR dog?  Someone with an innate love for dogs, and a driving need to respond to a crisis in the community.

...Donates to this campaign?  Someone who recognizes and has the highest respect for the overwhelming amount of mental and physical fortitude needed in this kind of work.

…IS a SAR dog?  "Woof. Woof woof." (Translation: "I'm a dog. Just doing what is needed, because I am a dog, I am smart, and a hard worker, loyal, and kind.")

What's That, Lassie?

Volunteer K9 handlers pay all their own expenses for their equipment as well as what is needed for the dog. Training to certification takes about two years; constant training is required in order to be mission-ready. Here are a few examples provided by a K9 team member of what your dollars will help purchase:

  • $50  - K9 first aid kit to be carried in field
  • $60 -  k9 cooling vest for warm weather conditions
  • $50 - K9 search vest for identification 
  • $600 - Garmin astro with dog collar for tracking dog in the field and navigation. Almost all of our team members personally purchase one of these.
  • $35 - short range hand held radio (we all carry these)
  • $400 - VHF hand held mission radio - most of us carry these. We also carry a supply for our team on missions
  • $100 - assorted collars and leashes
  • $20 - night lights for dog collars for night searches
  • $80 - headlamps for handlers for night searchers
  • $100 - k9 life vest for water searches or transport to mission location
  • $20 - $50 - portable water bowls, toys/dog snacks for rewards
  • $20 - K9 energy bars for in-field energy replenishment
  • $100 - K9 doggles and ear muffs for helicopter transport
  • $25 - muzzle for helicopter transport

"...And this is just some of the equipment a K9 team needs to purchase," says June Mansfield, field support member of the K9 team and treasurer of the organization. "In addition there is the usual veterinary care and gas for our vehicles for transport to missions and trainings. Many of us also have kennels for transport and keeping the dog in the vehicle during down time." 

Meet Sable, the Search and Rescue Dog


Sable, German Shepherd/Lab was born on December 13, 2005 and was brought home by Seth and Brenda Stone on January 28, 2006.  It was her destiny to become a Search Dog for Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue.  At approximately six months of age, Sable started her training and by the age of two, she and Seth had certified for the first time.  At the age of 4, Sable was training and jumped over a log only to get her foot caught in a hole on her way down.  She ended up needing a full knee replacement on her left side.  A year later, due to the compensation of using her right leg, that knee needed to be replaced as well.  This set Sable back in her training, but has since fully recovered and recertified twice.  Seth and Sable plan to recertify for the final time this coming Fall.  Sable will be almost 9 and will most likely retire within 2 years of that. 

Sable Stone is a valued and loved member of both the Stone Family and the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 Team.  When she is not searching or training to search, she enjoys playing Frisbee, eating Frosty Paws and squeaking toys.

Photo: Martin Kaste/NPR, used with permission.


SCVSAR is a 501c3 non-profit organization and your donation is thus 100% tax deductible if you forgo rewards in exchange for your gift. You may instead choose to receive tangible goods, in which case the contribution is not tax exempt.

Here are some concrete tokens of gratitude and reminders of your giving spirit:

*Tree of Life Keychain (pictured below)

*Illustrated Art Print by Illustriddler LLC (in progress)

*Calligraphy (in progress) of poem: "The God of Lost Things" by Neile Graham

Journalism and News

  • WARNING: very evocative text from the Oso site. I could not read this well-researched, informative and frank story... was only able to rapidly and gingerly skim it, but it confirmed my instinct that this is the right way to help. Deep Into Darkness: SAR Dogs and the Oso Mudslide. Excerpt: "Volunteers still have lives at home and must pay bills just like everyone else, and working The Pile does not result in monetary gain. And so the number of searchers fluctuates on a daily basis as volunteers give everything they have to the recovery, their time, energy, emotion, personal finances – and then give a little more. And when they have nothing left, K9 SAR teams take a look around at the destruction surrounding them, and find more to give."
  • Memorial attached to surviving spruce tree one of the few trees left standing after the mudslide

THANKS AGAIN and Other Ways You Can Help

This is a personally motivated project for me and has been a powerful journey of remembrance and discovery. The Pacific Northwest is my lifelong home.

Be on the lookout in a few months for the orchestral suite I am composing in response to the Oso tragedy in honor of those affected.

If you are unable to donate at this time, please get the word out and make some noise about this campaign.

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
103% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$2,014 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 24, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $2USD
    (straight donation)

    Good karma and gratitude

    0 claimed
  • $5USD
    (straight donation)

    Good karma and gratitude

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  • $10USD
    (straight donation)

    Good karma and gratitude

    3 claimed
  • $20USD

    Karma Points and Gratitude plus: Beautiful "Tree of Life" keychain handmade by LB Artworks symbolizing the towering spruce tree in Oso that has become a living memorial. See photo to the left. *not tax deductible

    5 out of 100 claimed
  • $100USD

    Keychain, Karma Points and Gratitude plus: a limited edition print of artwork by Illustriddler LLC custom designed for this fundraiser. *not tax deductible

    1 out of 3 claimed
  • $120USD

    Keychain, Karma Points and Gratitude plus: The poem "The God of Lost Things" by Neile Graham, calligraphed by hand. *not tax deductible

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $150USD
    (straight donation)

    Karma Points, Gratitude and a Tax Deduction.

    1 claimed
  • $250USD
    (straight donation)

    Karma Points, Gratitude and a Tax Deduction.

    0 claimed
  • $2,014USD

    This perk is here to round out the list to nine… a lovely K9 number!

    0 out of 1 claimed
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