Donating a Dog for Search and Rescue

First, have your dog’s hips and elbows X rayed for soundness.

In addition to physical soundness, a working dog requires certain inherent qualities: drive, focus, nerve strength, natural agility, and sociability. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate in an informal, flexible and consistent manner canine candidates’ suitability as a working dog, factoring in differences in breed characteristics, age and previous training of the canine. At the end of the assessment, you will be able to determine if a dog as the potential to pass to the next level of evaluation. You will be evaluating the dog in the following areas:

  1. Sociability around strangers, groups and other canines
  2. Drives, motivation and Focus
  3. Nerve strength and natural agility

The assessment should be completed in an environment/location that the dog has never been or too. It is designed to be used with puppies or dogs, however, Paws of Life only accepts dogs that are 10 months to 2 years old. If the dog is not motivated or even knows how to play with a toy, we will be unable to place your dog. We encourage you to pursue other avenues for placement.

Once you complete the form below and have answered ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ to ALL questions, contact a search unit in your area. You can find a listing at

Download “Donating a Dog for Search and Rescue” form here.  (Word Doc)