Video: How Dogs Are Saving Lives in Earthquake-Shattered Haiti

If you’re like me, the recent events in Haiti are hard to fathom. This is a disaster that won’t be truly quantified until we’re months down the road. It’s also a disaster where every second counts, and as a dog guy I was buoyed by the number of search-and-rescue canines that were deployed immediately after the earthquake.

Dogs and their handlers have departed from France, Russia, China, Peru, and a number of other countries. The U.S. has sent a large number of teams, including Gary Durian and Baxter (pictured above) from Los Angeles County.

Baxter is a Golden Retriever that was rescued and placed in the Search Dog Foundation’s training regimen. Baxter is now FEMA certified. The team has worked a few disasters already, including looking for bodies in the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Now the duo is on the ground in Haiti, where according to their latest report they are doing recon and preparing to work the piles of rubble. You can follow their progress, and the other teams deployed by the Search Dog Foundation, on Twitter.

Rescue dogs have also been sent from other U.S. cities. The video below shows a NYPD canine handler Scott Mateyaschuk and his dog, Aragon, preparing to depart yesterday.

To be honest, I think my dog is a hero when it drops a bird in my hand. I can’t imagine the satisfaction a handler must feel when his pup saves the life of a human buried beneath the rubble.

Godspeed to Baxter, Durian, Mateyaschuk, and Aragon.