top of page
66759159_2390006887949803_17859187496735

K9 Unit

HUMAN REMAINS

Kay

McDonald

Human Remains Coordinator/Handler

K9 Poppy

IPWDA 

HRD Land & Crime Scene

 

K9 Brio

HRD In Training

poppy amires berkshires.jpg

Kay McDonald began in search and rescue in 2010 and trained her border collie in live find.   He certified Level 3 in 160 acres through the Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Federation and has since retired.  Kay trained a second dog, Poppy, in human remains detection and she certified in crime scene through the International Police Work Dog Association as well as Advanced Human Remains through the Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Federation.  Kay was the VP and Training Director for Massachusetts Rescue and Recovery Canine Unit, then Training Director for Massachusetts Canine Response Team.  In 2020 Kay moved to South Carolina and joined SCSAR.  Kay and K9 Poppy recertified through the International Police Work Dog Association in Human Remains Detection for Land and Crime Scene.  She is also training a second dog, Brio, in HR.

 

When Kay is not training HR, she's working her two other K9's in her 9-5 business of bed bug detection. Through her company, Bed Bug Detection K9s, Kay does canine bed bug inspections for commercial and residential facilities.  For fun she does dock diving, FastCAT and agility with her dogs with K9 Poppy winning the Atlantic Coast Dock Diving Regional for Lapdogs in 2020 and placing second at the East Coast Regionals in HydroDash in 2021. 

 

Kay’s son lives and works in Massachusetts.  Kay earned her MEd from Boston University and her MBA from Rivier University.

Deb Ash

HRD

K9 Saleen

IPWDA 

HRD Land & Crime Scene

 

K9 Chance

HRD In-Training

ATT00001 (1).jpg

Deb Ash started in SAR in 1999 in New Hampshire realizing a passion with dogs and search and rescue that started as a child.

First with Search Dogs Northeast and then starting a SAR team, Canine Alert Search Teams (CAST) in 2005. CAST disbanded in 2015 after a 10 year run of providing IPWDA certified K9s to local police and fire in the Monadnock region of Southern New Hampshire.

She has certified her own K9s in IPWDA Crime Scene, Water and 160 Live Find and has assisted in helping many handlers and K9s in achieving SAR certifications. In 2013 CAST was the first team in the US to bring the International Rescue Dog (IRO) certifications to the US. Her K9 Eisen was both IPWDA certified HRD Crime Scene and Water and IRO Level B certified Live Find.  Deb is currently working IPWDA certified K9 Saleen and has a young Dutchie, Chance, in the pipeline.

Pam Granade/SARII

HRD

K9 Tate

Trailing 

HRD/LAND

NASAR

311053006_172045615405409_7636794337713014539_n.jpg

Pam joined SCSAR in 2021. She is certified as a SARTECH II with NASAR. K9 Tate is a two year old German shepherd dog; Tate and Pam are certified in HRD Land with NASAR.  Tate loves to do any type of training that involves a toy reward.    

Susan

Whitehead

HRD

K9 Safron

HRD/LAND

NASAR

91E254C0-2698-4E47-B100-7BADC41BB689_1_201_a.jpg

Susan and her K9, Saffron, joined SCSAR in 2022. Saffron originally started her career as a live find dog, but she quickly made it clear that she had no interest in finding anyone but her handler. A fellow handler suggested HRD, and the rest is history.

 

Originally from Northwestern, IL., Susan spent 20 years in England before returning to the states and discovering Search and Rescue. When she's not training with the team, Susan enjoys hiking, knitting, and spending time with her family (that includes three more dogs and two cats).

TRAILING

Valerie

Vernet / SARII

K9 Gracie

AMPWDA Level 2

Trailing

IMG_2443.jpg

Valerie joined SCSAR in 2019 after several years with SC Foothills SAR.  Valerie and her trailing dog Gracie recently achieved Level 2 Trailing Certification with AMPWDA and Valerie recently obtained SARTECH II certification through NASAR.  Valerie also holds a Part 107 UAS Pilot’s License and is active on the drone unit.

 

Valerie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering (Go Gators!), and has a career in Gas Turbine Development.  She spent many years doing data analysis and control software for aviation Gas Turbine testing and is now writing modeling software for Power Plant turbines. 

 

Valerie enjoys a hobby farm with her husband, and visits with her daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.  In addition to SAR, she loves back-country hiking and kayaking.

David

Hartman/SARII

Trailing Coordinator

K9 Ada

Trailing

AMPWDA Urban

Level 3 

AMPWDA Wilderness

AMPWDA Trailing Instructor

Level 1 GAK9

David Hartman joined SCSAR in 2021. In addition to K9 Trailing, he serves on Ground Team and Drones. He and his wife Mary have a Czech German Shepherd, Ada. Ada earned her Level 3 Wildnerness Trailing through AMPWDA along with AMPWDA Urban Trailing. Ada is also being trained in Human Remains Detection. David is an AMPWDA Certified Trainer for Trailing, and you can find him at many of the AMPWADA seminars helping others learn to handle their K9s.

David has a Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master’s in Business. Mary and David both spent careers in Computer Science, specializing in cloud computing software. David is an active light aircraft pilot and volunteers with Civil Air Patrol as a SAR Mission Pilot.

thumbnail_image (1).png

Adrienne

Kerchner/SARII

Trailing

IMG_20230226_164722.jpg

Adrienne Kerchner joined SCSAR in 2023.  Adrienne got her first Bloodhound in 1999 and fell in love with the breed.   She has been a Bloodhound K9 handler since 2014 and is SARTECH II certified. Her current partner, K9 Jocassee, is certified through NASAR.

 

Adrienne and her husband, Scott Johnson, have two other fur children.  Their other NASAR certified Bloodhound, Wyatt, is a retired deputy sheriff from Broward County, FL.  He mostly enjoys his retirement, but also still works on occasion.  Jasper, is a Bloodhound/Tibetan Mastiff mix who lives the good life.

 

Adrienne is originally from Northern Virginia and has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Clemson University as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Administration of Justice from George Mason Unversity.  In the fall, she and Scott enjoy their Saturdays cheering on the Tigers in Death Valley.  GO TIGERS!  Her career is in Federal Contracting specializing in Contracts Management. 

 

Adrienne is still an avid softball player after 30+ years, volunteers with dog rescue and biweekly dog transports, and is a member of the Daughter's of the American Revolution.   

AIR SCENT

Deb Ash

HRD

Air Scent Coordinator

K9 Saleen

IPWDA 

HRD Land & Crime Scene

Internal Certified Air Scent

 

K9 Chance

HRD In-Training

Deb Ash started in SAR in 1999 in New Hampshire realizing a passion with dogs and search and rescue that started as a child.

First with Search Dogs Northeast and then starting a SAR team, Canine Alert Search Teams (CAST) in 2005. CAST disbanded in 2015 after a 10 year run of providing IPWDA certified K9s to local police and fire in the Monadnock region of Southern New Hampshire.

She has certified her own K9s in IPWDA Crime Scene, Water and 160 Live Find and has assisted in helping many handlers and K9s in achieving SAR certifications. In 2013 CAST was the first team in the US to bring the International Rescue Dog (IRO) certifications to the US. Her K9 Eisen was both IPWDA certified HRD Crime Scene and Water and IRO Level B certified Live Find.  Deb is currently working IPWDA certified K9 Saleen and has a young Dutchie, Chance, in the pipeline.

ATT00001 (1).jpg

Marty

Hester/SARII

Air Scent Area Search 

K9 Gunner

Air Scent 

Air Scent

AMPWDA

Level1

Air Scent

marty.jpg

Marty was born and raised in Memphis, TN and has lived in South Carolina since 2007.  He and his wife have been married for 29 years, have a son, have daughter and have one grandson.  He grew up in the outdoors, having had many hunting dogs over the years, but never a working dog.  Gunner is his first working dog, he is a very high energy Golden Retriever.  His favorite activity is fetching, followed by swimming and hiking.  According to Marty (thank you for the kind words), he has learned more about dogs in the last few months by working with the K9 Team than he had during the first 53 years of his life. 

Robbie

Swofford/SARII

Air Scent Area Search 

K9 Brodie

Air Scent 

Air Scent

AMPWDA

Level1

Air Scent

brodie.jpg

Robbie has been with Spartanburg County Emergency Management for 19 years, married for 9 years, and has 4 beautiful daughters.  Robbie took ownership of K9 Brodie in October 2021.  Brodie was trained by Brandy Eggeman, gifted by Edwin Grant, and Robbie has sustained Brodie's training.  On May 22, 2022 K9 Brodie and Robbie passed their evaluation for AMPWDA Level 1, Air Scent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In-Active / Retired

Tyra 

Seymour / SARII

Air Scent - InActive

Mike

Brown/SARII

Air Scent Area Search 

K9 Dusty

Air Scent 

Internally Certified

Mike has been with Spartanburg County Emergency Management for over 1 year now.  Mike took ownership of K9 Dusty in the Summer of 2022.  Dusty was trained by former SCSAR handler Allison Scott, achieving AMPWDA level 2 certification.  However, Mike has made Dusty his own, changing her reward and most recently, going into early Humain remains work with Dusty.  Mike hopes to certify with IPWDA this call and achieved internal certification in July, 2023.  When Mike isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and fur babies as they have an RV and love to travel. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

363451093_286943410582295_7903536259415000182_n_edited.jpg
Tyra&Roscoe.jpg

K9 Roscoe

Retired Trailing

K9 Cricket

Air Scent

Previous AMPWDA Level 2 Air Scent

Cricket

Tyra Seymour joined SCSAR in 2013 and quickly became SAR II Certified by the Summer of 2013.  Since that time, Tyra has taken numerous classes, participated in numerous searches, and has become a proven leader on this team. 

During Tyra's SAR career, his interest in SAR K9's grew and beginning in 2018, Tyra began training his first trailing dog, Cricket.  Since then, Tyra adopted the infamous trailing dog Roscoe in February 2019, one of Mark Webb's well known SAR dogs (Coastal Carolina).  Now, Tyra the ground searcher is Tyra the K9 Handler/ground searcher.

 

When Tyra isn't "Tyra: K9 Handler/Ground Searcher", Tyra is a loving husband and proud father of two children.  In addition to his 2 children, Trya also has 4 fur babies and 1 cat.  When Tyra's isn't wide open at home, he's wide open at work.  Tyra is the owner of Eastlight Home Services where he specializes in home repairs and/or renovations.  

bottom of page