Our canine training program is designed to help teams achieve a FEMA Certification. Dogs that complete the program, and become certified, are used to locate missing victims who are alive, but trapped, during a disaster.
Our professional trainers carefully select dogs from local shelters, rescue groups, and owner surrenders. We teach the dogs the fundamental skills needed to perform search and rescue duties.
Most of the dogs that complete our certification program were once rescued from animal shelters or found wandering the streets. We are proud to serve our community and give these dogs the opportunity to save lives in areas they once roamed.
Local, state and federal agencies can apply to our foundation to receive a dog for a donation to the program.
Buster is a boxer/beagle mix, rescued from a shelter in Texas where he was scheduled to be euthanized. Today he is a Type 1 FEMA certified canine and been deployed to missions along the Gulf Coast.
The USAR Foundation is a 501(c) 3 Non-Profit, Non-Governmental organization based in Memphis, Tennessee. Its primary mission is to assist Tennessee Task Force One (TN-TF1) in strengthening disaster response. USAR also supports FEMA and SUSAR Task Forces by offering specialized classes and recruiting donated or rescued dogs and partnering with other response groups to find victims trapped in disaster wreckage.
Kenneth Reeves - Chief Administrative Officer
Ken is a seasoned fire chief with the City of Memphis Fire Department. He is also the Program Manager for the Tennessee Task Force base in Memphis and well versed in the USAR system.
Deborah Burnett - Chief Operations Officer
Deb currently serves as the Canine Coordinator for the Tennessee Task Force One. Deb is a seasoned canine instructor, evaluator and mentor.
Brenda Hartfield - Secretary/Treasurer
Brenda was one of the original founding partners of the USAR Foundation in 2006. She is a member of the Tennessee Task Force One, a current Canine Coordinator for a state USAR Team and an approved FEMA Canine Instructor.
Zap is a German Shorthair Pointer/Lab mix. He was removed from a rescue group in Dayton, Ohio after he had been through five foster homes. Zap is now a Type 1 FEMA certified canine.
Anika is a Belgian Malanois. She was imported from Europe by a breeder in the US. Anika did not meet the breeder's expectations so she was generously donated to the USAR Foundation and is now a Type 1 FEMA certified canine.
Sarge is a Labrador Retriever. He was found wandering the streets of Memphis, malnourished and heart worm positive. After being treated and trained Sarge is now a Type 1 FEMA certified canine.
We are open:
Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.