SPOKANE, Wash. - Intermountain Search Dogs most frequently work with the Spokane County Sheriff's Department doing search and rescues. However, when the devastation of the mudslide hit, they wanted to help.
"We looked at the pictures and we kind of thought, oh yeah we know what we're going for, and we got there and it was just like, wow," said Phoebe Duke, of Intermountain Search Dogs.
Just five days after the mudslide they packed up and headed to Oso, to help lead the search in recovering victims.
"That search without dogs would have been pretty much impossible," said Duke.
The dogs and their handlers spent long hours working through the thick mud and debris, that in many cases went up to the dog's stomachs. The dogs were successful in recovering bodies, as well as clearing areas so rescue crews could focus on high probability areas. The search was both physically exhausting, and mentally draining.
"You had to compartmentalize it, and do your job and work, and then when you come home, that's when it's hard when the reality hits you, that was someone's child you were looking for, someone's grandmother," said Robyn Moug, of Intermountain Search Dogs.
Moug said as hard as it was, they would gladly go back.
"It was very difficult, but it was an honor, it was an honor to go," said Moug.
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