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AVALANCHE SEARCH & RESCUE
DOG PROGRAM

SERVING MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN AND THE EASTERN SIERRA COMMUNITY

Eastside K-9 is a 501c3 not for profit organization that was formed in 2004 to provide avalanche rescue dogs in case of person(s) buried in an avalanche. Eastside K-9 also provides backcountry safety education on the dangers of traveling in avalanche terrain.

Eastside K-9 works closely with the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA), National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA) and Wasatch Backcountry Rescue (WBR) in determining and attending training programs for the teams.  The organization strives to always have at least 4 ready to respond teams trained to the highest of standards in the world of Avalanche Rescue.


The avalanche dog program is funded and managed entirely through Eastside K-9 and is a separate entity from Mammoth Mountain.  This allows the dogs to serve the community at large and to be available for backcountry searches.

 
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COMMUNITY EDUCATION ON AVALANCHE AWARENESS

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LOCAL SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS

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TRAINING COOPERATIVES WITH PLACER COUNTY / SQUAW VALLEY

 

FAQ

HOW CAN I SUPPORT EASTSIDE K-9?

  • Donate via this website

  • We are currently building our online store, shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, hats and more will be available soon!

  • Attend an Eastside K-9 Fundraiser to donate or purchase Eastside K-9 retail items.

  • Purchase K9 Plush Toys and any Ski Patrol apparel from Mammoth Mountain retail venues and a portion of proceeds goes to Eastside K-9.

WHERE CAN I GET K9 PLUSH TOYS?

Mammoth Mountain has created plush toys in each of the dogs likeness for purchase at Mountain retail venues.  A portion of the proceeds goes to support the Eastside K-9 program.

IF I SEE THE DOGS OUT ON THE HILL, CAN I PET HIM/HER?

When the dogs are at Mammoth Mountain they are working.  Make sure to check with the handler to see if it is an appropriate time to say hello.

WHAT DOES TRAINING LOOK LIKE FOR THESE DOGS?

Training for the dogs varies from day to day.  Some examples include:

  • Obedience training

  • Scent recovery training

  • Live search burials

  • Helicopter training

  • Gondola & chair evacuation trainings

  • Dog travel training - including skiing, toboggons & snowmobiles

  • Group & individual trainings

WHEN DOES A DOG START TRAINING?  HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A DOG TO BE CERTIFIED?

Puppies typically start obedience training at 8-10 weeks.  More beginning search driven trainings are worked in overtime. 


Dogs and handlers typically take a validation and certify at about 2 years old.  The dog handler team will re-validate every two years. Dogs can work anywhere form eight to twelve years before retiring to enjoy the retired life with our Alumni Association.  They still love to come to work and feel like part of the team.

WHO OWNS THE DOGS?

In the Eastside K-9 program, handlers own and care for their dogs directly.  Often the dogs are with their handlers 24/7. :)