March 29, 2012

K-9 communities from far and wide come together for upcoming summer heat

Cpl. Shelby Shields
Photo by Cpl. Shelby Shields

More than 20 K-9 organizations gathered at the Sonoran Pueblo Friday for the first ever joint training seminar hosted by the Marine Corps Air Station K-9 unit.

Units came from all across the Southwest region ranging from California to Tucson, including local K-9 organizations, to share and learn important heat prevention techniques.

“The training was opened up so that we could provide hands on heat training and injury prevention to all K-9 handlers and trainers abroad,” said Staff Sgt. Jeffery Worely, station kennel master. “Since we we’re hitting 80 degree temperatures in early March we started working on a large scale conference with Ma. Jolene North, our Veterinarian at Yuma Proving Grounds.  Knowing what we know now, I am excited to be a part of the larger picture.”

Many of the K-9 units never receive this kind of specialized training during school; however, with temperatures quickly approaching record highs many groups felt this was a much needed get together.

“It’s not something you typically think about,”  said Justin Keeling with the Cocopah K-9 unit. “It’s not something we’re taught in the academy and having the correct tools and knowledge can make all the difference.”

Even though the seminar largely focused on heat injury prevention and training, it served as a great opportunity to foster relationships with outside entities.

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