No matter the weather, the time of day or the reason, when Bosco and Shiloh are dressed in vests, they know it's time to find someone that's missing. They're rescue dogs specially trained to find missing people.
Northstar Search and Rescue is currently made up of 8 dogs and volunteer handlers, all nationally certified. Together, they average about a call a week covering a 5-state area.
One of Shiloh's biggest searches was the Lilydale landslide in St Paul that claimed the lives of two kids. She was able to indicate the location of the second boy found, and speed up the recovery efforts after that.
Diane Stefanick and Ross Butterfield are both EMTs who do the job on the side, putting in 20 hours a week in addition to their full-time positions. They estimate it costs about $4,000 each year to keep the dogs up to date on their training, the gear to protect the dogs and their handlers especially in harsh elements. They also depend on donations and don't receive any state or federal funding.
How you can get involved
For the first time, Northstar is hosting a fishing tournament and fundraiser on Sunday on lower Prior Lake.
More event information: http://www.northstarsar.com/#!fishing-contest
You can donate here: http://www.northstarsar.com/#!donations