The Search and Rescue Dog Association was formed in Scotland in 1965 by Hamish MacInnes, team leader of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue team at the time. He attended an International Red Cross Search Dog course in Switzerland where the were training and assessing avalanche search dogs.

He saw the potential for using dogs to search for lost walkers and climbers within the UK.
On his return to the United Kingdom. Hamish started training his two German Shepherd’s Rangi and Tiki.

SARDA Original Logo

SARDA Original Logo

In Dec 1964 a training course with Mountain Rescue Members from throughout the UK was held in Glencoe, encouraged by this course, and the potential shown by the dogs. A meeting was held in May 1965 and SARDA was formed.

SARDA initially covered the whole of the UK. By 1971 it had become devolved into Scottish, English and Welsh associations. Further developments led to the modern day, with the present formation of Associations: England, Lake District, Ireland North, Ireland South, Scotland, South Wales, Southern Scotland, Wales and Isle of Man.

The first search dog training course in Glencoe. From left to right: Kenny MacKenzie with Fran, Sandy Seabrook with Rory, Willie Elliot with Corrie, and Catherine MacInnes with Rangi and Tiki.  © Hamish MacInnes

The first search dog training course in Glencoe. © Hamish MacInnes

The National Search And Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA) was formed to represent the associations at a national level with other National Authorities.
SARDA England is a founder member of NSARDA and is also a member of Mountain Rescue England and Wales