Community

Snelling earns honor for work with search dogs

Norma Snelling, a rescue/search dog trainer, accepts two $500 checks from Sequim Home Instead owners Tom and Sandy Boughner and from Home Instead Inc. to support her organization, the National Search Dog Alliance. In front is Sam, an 8-year-old golden retriever.  - Sequim Gazette photo by Patricia Morrison Coate
Norma Snelling, a rescue/search dog trainer, accepts two $500 checks from Sequim Home Instead owners Tom and Sandy Boughner and from Home Instead Inc. to support her organization, the National Search Dog Alliance. In front is Sam, an 8-year-old golden retriever.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Patricia Morrison Coate

Norma Snelling, a 70-year-old volunteer from Sequim, is being recognized for her dedicated community service, including her work at the national Search Dog Alliance.

As one of 50 state winners, Snelling earned $500 for the NSDA – donated by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network and contest sponsor. Local Home Instead owners Tom and Sandy Boughner matched the award, for a total of $1,000.

Snelling also will have a spot on the Salute to Senior Service Wall of Fame on SalutetoSeniorService.com where her nomination story has been posted.

Her dedication to canine search and rescue began over 20 years ago when an 18-month-old toddler was found deceased within a hundred feet of her home, after three days of being searched for by three poorly trained canine search dog teams. Snelling saw a need to give canine teams support by means of training, education and a national certification to a standard that would assure their competence in looking for the lost and injured. She was a critical part in founding the National Search Dog Alliance to accomplish that very goal.

Through the years Snelling has served as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president of the organization. She has traveled from Florida to Alaska on behalf of NSDA, testing and training beginning dog handlers in how to save lives. A beginning handler may spend 2,000 hours of training to gain certification. She is now training her own sixth search and rescue dog to continue her personal efforts. She and others in NSDA serve countless hours on behalf of those dog teams scattered in neighborhoods across the country who search to bring loved ones back to their families.

For more information about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Salute to Senior Service program visit www.SalutetoSeniorService.com.

 

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