Welcome to this issue of the Washington State Animal Response Team's monthly newsletter! Find out what the President has to say, what deployments we've been on, where the next meetings will be, and where we'll be with upcoming events. View this email in your browser


2013 Meetings

September 11 - Milton/Edgewater Library, 900 Meridian East, Suite 29, Milton, WA 98354. Entrance and parking at rear of building.
December 11 - KeyBank, 1212 Cole St, Enumclaw, WA

The next General Membership Meeting will held in Milton, WA from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The first hour will be spent on WASART business and the final hour on a mini-training session on a subject of interest to members. And, of course, some social time, too. All general meetings are open to the public and everyone is invited to attend. 

Visit our booth at these upcoming events

11th Annual Harbor Hounds - September 14, 2013 - Gig Harbor, WA

Mission Statement

To help animals and their owners through disaster preparedness, education, and emergency response.


From the President

Gearing Up and Embracing Growth

A new, second trailer will help with northern deployments.

I’m feeling positive about WASART’s progress these days. Our membership continues to grow, and folks that haven’t previously been active in assisting with committee work are stepping forward to take on some of these very important roles.
Our Technical Rescue Team is fortunate to have several new members, all of whom show great enthusiasm for continuing to improve their skills and further increase the team’s capabilities. The recently acquired truck donated to us through the generosity of King County has seen service on several deployments and is an invaluable asset for us. We continue to move forward with equipping our second utility rescue trailer, though we are still hampered by lack of funding to complete the effort to make it fully ready to deal with all emergencies.  But even in its partially ready state, it will be an asset to us to allow faster response for deployments north of the I-90 corridor.
Our membership contingent in Whatcom County, along with their Search and Rescue associates, continue to be called out for difficult and demanding rescues and never fail to meet the challenge, as described further below.
And our Training Committee is embarked on an ambitious program to review, re-evaluate and revise our demanding training curriculum to make it more streamlined for our members, while still retaining our exceptional emphasis on providing hands-on, realistic training for the students in handling live animals in emergency situations.
So all in all, things are headed in the right direction, and I continue to be enthused about working with this great organization.

Bill Daugaard

Encore Core Training

Rescuers after the rescue
Repeat of popular training opportunity scheduled in Woodinville, WA.

WASART's bumper crop of new members eager to deploy on rescue missions means that the Training Committee has scheduled a second Core training in 2013.  This class is mandatory for all members wishing to deploy but is open to the public, too, 17 years or older.  More information, and the registration form, is on the WASART Calendar at  For more information, contact

A Tribute to Dedicated Volunteers

Lauri honing her rappelling skills down a cliff face.

We all know that volunteers work for the money and the fame.  Okay, not true. We save animals to help people. We do a mission and go home to our families and pets without fanfare, then wait for the next callout. It’s just a big part of who we all are.

You might think that this kind of self-sacrifice is normal… and for those like us, it is. But once in awhile we come across one of us who does even more, something so selfless, so extraordinary… that we need to put it out there. This month, two of our members deserve special attention from us - Lauri McBeath-Davies and Fred Knight.

Lauri and Fred are a remarkable couple. They simply are the kind of people that can be counted on to help whenever a person or an animal is in need. This kind of commitment, of putting others first, was honored by the SAR and Rescue communities in the last couple of years.  At the 2011 SAR Conference, Lauri was awarded the 2011 Adult Achievement Award with Fred following fast on her heels and being awarded the Adult Leadership Award at the 2012 SAR Conference. The Washington State SAR Volunteer Advisory Council presents only five awards a year so these consecutive awards were a great reflection on the Whatcom County SAR program to have these volunteers (and dual WASART members) so honored.

But now it's our turn.  

In early August WASART received a request to rescue two large dogs that were in the backcountry, in serious distress, with no way out. (See following article.) The response scenario was terrible… long drive, long hike, no ready group of volunteers available, but Lauri and Fred stepped up and took charge. They assembled a scratch team of volunteers from WASART, SAR, Civil Air Patrol… and went and rescued those dogs! The first deployment lasted until the early hours of the next day but they were unable to bring out the dogs.They hiked in again the next day and carried out the dogs most of the way  . . . and they did this right after helping in a grueling multi-day SAR mission the day prior. And, after arriving home with only a few hours of rest… they went out on another SAR mission to help save lives.

It is simply an honor to know Lauri and Fred and to be a fellow WASART member. They inspire the rest of us to step up to help whenever we can. Their “normal” is a WOW.  Well done, friends!

Submitted by Dennis Brislawn
WASART Team Leader
Former King County SAR President

Fred and his loyal dog Barren enjoy quality time rappelling together.

Maxipads, duct tape aid in dog rescue

Deuce at the trailhead.

Petie, the Pitbull, and Duece, the Rottweiler, had hiked about 1.5 hours up a rugged and rocky mountain road with their owner on August 8, 2013 when they became exhausted and could not continue. The dogs’ feet were blistered and cut because of the rocky trail with hot boulders and they were unable to continue. They each weighed about 80 lbs and their owner and her friend could not carry them back to the trailhead.

When the WASART duty officer received the call for assistance at 8:20 p.m., it was already getting dark and it would have taken approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Enumclaw, WA,  in King County to the trailhead and then hike up the trail to the dogs' location. Fortunately, WASART's Whatcom County members, Lauri McBeath-Davies, Marcia Pedersen, and Fred Knight were available to help.

Lauri contacted the owner, who had hiked back to the trailhead to get cell phone reception, and obtained further information before assuming responsibility for planning and executing a rescue. Lauri, Marcia and Whatcom County SAR member, Jennifer Hall, drove to the trailhead, about 1.5 hours from the highway, and while Lauri remained at the trailhead in a Base Support capacity Marcia, Jennifer and the owner started hiking to the dogs at 11:50 p.m. They carried clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, food and water for the humans and dogs and supplies with which to wrap the dogs’ feet so that they could be walked back to the trailhead. They also carried in a GPS and a SAR radio; Lauri maintained radio contact with a SAR radio every 30 minutes from the trailhead.

Upon arriving at the scene approximately three miles from the trailhead, they found the owner's friend with the dogs. The dogs appeared tired and sore but not in shock and  were very reluctant to even move to the blanket put down for them. The dogs' paws were swollen and lacerated. Jennifer, an experienced SAR dog handler, inspected the dogs and determined they would have a hard time walking out. It was decided the dogs would have to be carried out when there was light. Marcia and Jennifer stayed about 40 minutes to make sure everyone was fine, left blankets, water, flashlights, SAR radio, food, dog biscuits, sweatshirts, and emergency tarps and hiked back to the trailhead, arriving on August 9th at 05:10

Because it would be a minimum of a three hour round trip, Marcia elected to remain overnight at the trailhead parking lot and to assume the Base Camp support position when the second rescue attempt was made later that day.

At Lauri's request, six members from multiple units of WASART and Whatcom County SAR including Civil Air Patrol reported to the trailhead ready to hike back up the trail to get the dogs. After they were briefed by Lauri and under the leadership of Fred Knight, they left the trailhead at 11:48 with the first group arriving at 12:58 and the second group at 13:18. The dogs’ paws were wrapped and padded with maxipads, socks, and duct tape and they were were loaded into soft Stokes litters (like a strong tarp with handles). The first dog left at 13:49; the second at 1403.  The dogs were carried over the snowfield and through the boulder field (approximately three-quarters of a mile). 

At this point both groups felt they couldn't physically carry them all the way out, so they encouraged the dogs to walk. Padding on their paws had to be redone a few times but worked well to protect pads.  Petie the Pitbull, arrived at the trailhead at 17:00 with David Burkett, Matthew Finsrud, and Fred Knight. The second dog, Duece the Rottweiler, arrived at the trailhead at 17:50 with Chaz Simmons, Jim Green, Jess Curry and the dogs' owner and her friend.   

Both dogs were loaded into the back of the owner's vehicle and their pads removed.  After advising the owner to take the dogs to the vet as soon as possible, everyone departed from the trailhead and arrived home at approximately 19:15.

For the third time in four months, Lauri and Fred and members of Whatcom County SAR's several units have combined their skills to rescue dogs from life-threatening situations. The previous rescues are detailed in the April-May, 2013 and July, 2013 WASART NEWS. These trained, experienced and resourceful volunteers provide a much needed and valuable service to the animal lovers of Whatcom County and their efforts on behalf of animals everywhere are appreciated.


Petie, the Pitbull, being carried out in a soft litter.

WASART NEWS is a publication of the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) published on or about the 15th of each month. WASART is an all volunteer, 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Mail us at: WASART, P.O. Box 21, Enumclaw, WA 98022. - • (425) 681-5498

Copyright © 2013 Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART), All rights reserved.
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