The SSART Dog Section was formed in June 2012 and is registered as an ALSAR dog team.

We currently have three qualified dog teams.

Each dog and handler is registered with NSARDA 

Each handler and dog is supported by a team member who is responsible for navigation, communications and assisting the missing person upon a successful find.  

Each dog has its own Twitter feed so you can follow the progress of each dog; their callouts and training.

There is a structured training plan which each dog and handler must complete, starting from early puppy hood right through to a fully fledged search dog. 

Throughout their time with NSARDA Staffordshire each dog and handler will be continually assessed to ensure that they maintain their standard.  This continuous training means that a lot of time and patience is required of handlers and support members.

Qualified Dog Teams


Handler: Dave Barley

Dave is a Delivery Officer for Royal Mail and has been a member of SSART since 2009.  He is a Team Leader and also the Procurement Officer.  Dave is also the Dog Section Lead for SSART. Dave is now a graded at Lowland Novice level as an NSARDA handler.

Dog:  Red 

Red is a Border Collie and was born in June 2011 on a working farm.  He has been with Dave since he was 8 weeks old.

Follow Red on Twitter here 

Handler: Rob Messenger

Rob is a Working at Height Health and Safety Instructor at Total Access UK Ltd, who has been in the team since 2009. Rob is a Team Leader within the team.

Dog:  Penny

Penny is a Border Collie, born on the 10th March 2012, from working stock. Rob has had her since she was 8 weeks old

Follow Penny on Twitter here

Handler: James Rudman

James is an Environmental Health Officer and has been a member of SSART since 2011.  He is currently a team leader and Membership Secretary with SSART and spends most weekends training with NSARDA along with our other handlers Dave and Rob. 

Dog:  Jake

Born in July 2012 Jake is currently training to NSARDA standards where he is showing signs of becoming a great search dog.   Jake passed all of his good citizen awards attaining Gold standard by the time he was 12 months old.  

Having completed a stock test and an obedience test Jake begun as a registered Trainee Search Dog with NSARDA and in March 2016 became a novice graded search dog.

Jake was bred from a working line of Field Trial Champions. Lots of thanks has to go to the breeders Verrad Labradors: for breeding such a well rounded puppy!

Follow Jake on Twitter here