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Sequim senior wins state volunteer award

May 9th, 2014 - 5:24am

(SEQUIM)-- A 70-year old Sequim resident was recently honored for her community service with the National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA).

Norma Snelling is a long-time trainer of various types of search and rescue dogs, and earned the “Washington Salute to Senior Service Award”, sponsored by “Home Instead Senior Care”. Snelling was one of 50 state winners, and her $500-dollar award will go towards the National Search Dog Alliance.

Snelling's work with search and rescue dogs typically demands that a person invest up to 2000 hours worth of training with an animal from the time it is a puppy. Different types of specialties for the dogs include, assigned area search dogs who cover large areas of land, cadaver dogs for dead body recovery, water search dogs for drowning victims, avalanche dogs who can locate a person under deep snow, first responder/disaster dogs who locate people in situations like collapsed buildings, and trailing dogs who can follow the scent of a missing person.

Snelling has been involved with NSDA search and rescue dogs for over 20 years and has utilized her training as a Sheriff's Department volunteer. She is currently training her 6th search and rescue dog.

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