Three rescue dogs from Fairfax County's elite Search and Rescue team have departed to Washington state to help find victims from the March 22 mudslide in the town of Oso.
The dogs -- a Labrador retriever named Bayou, a German Shepherd named Hugo and a border collie named Fielder -- left Thursday morning from Dulles International Airport. They are accompanied by three handlers.
Battalion Chief Chris Schaff said it can be difficult for dogs to pick up a scent at a mudslide, making it harder for dogs and handlers to cover a large amount of ground. He said the Fairfax team is one of several nationally that has been deployed.
Thirty people were killed in the mudslide, and 17 were still listed missing as of Thursday morning.