Washington Mudslide – Rescue Dogs Get Much Needed Break

The death toll in the deadly Washington state mudslide rose to 21 on Sunday, as rescue crews said many of the local dogs used in the search effort will take a 2-day break after long hard hours in the cold and rain. Dogs can lose their sensing ability if they’re overworked.

Lisa Bishop and her dog, Cody, from Northwest Disaster Search Dogs. watch as a Washington National Guard helicopter flies over the debris field. - Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

Lisa Bishop and her dog, Cody, from Northwest Disaster Search Dogs. watch as a Washington National Guard helicopter flies over the debris field.Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,” said Kris Rietmann, a spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern side of the slide. Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that arrived later to the scene will continue working.

A search dog waits by the feet of Washington National Guardsmen to be washed after working the debris field. - Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

A search dog waits by the feet of Washington National Guardsmen to be washed after working the debris field.Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

Searchers have had to deal with dangerous conditions, including septic tanks, gasoline, propane containers and rain that’s raising the water levels. In fact, when rescuers and dogs leave the site, they are hosed off by hazardous materials crews.

Members of the Washington Air National Guard walk away from the mudslide wreckage after spending the day removing debris and searching for missing persons. - Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

Members of the Washington Air National Guard walk away from the mudslide wreckage after spending the day removing debris and searching for missing persons. – Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

The mudslide occurred on March 22 about 55 miles northeast of Seattle and is one of the deadliest in U.S. history -about 30 people remain missing.

Members of the Washington Air National Guard wade through mud and debris looking for signs of missing persons. - Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

Members of the Washington Air National Guard wade through mud and debris looking for signs of missing persons. – Credit: The National Guard via Flickr

WeatherBug thanks all rescuers involved, including their canine counterparts — you guys are true heroes!

Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

 

Stay Strong. Know Before™.

The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team

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