Soulful searching

Darlene Pitts pauses every day to look at a small framed picture of her younger sister, then says a short prayer. Full Story
Concerned for the missing

United States

#1 Apr 9, 2007
A Website has more information on the group
Patti Bishop IN Hope

Nashville, IN

#2 Apr 9, 2007
Beautiful coverage. Congrats. Keep up the good work.

John Q Public

Indianapolis, IN

#3 Apr 9, 2007
I think that this group is a wonderful resource for the families and friends of the missing, and my prayers are with them. I will also be praying that "Molly's Law" will be passed. What a difference a bill such as this could make!

Franklin, IN

#4 Apr 9, 2007
Thank God for a group like this! It would be so wonderful for families of missing adults! My aunt was abducted and murdered 4 years ago, and we still do not know how did it. We didn't have the greatest experience with the local police at that time, and it would've been great to have this group at a time like that! God bless you in your work!!!
Lisa Jones

Carol Stream, IL

#5 Apr 9, 2007
I am SOOO glad this information is reaching a wider audience. I was blessed to meet Patti and her organization when she contacted the family of Valerie Vickery-West and came to help with the search. Before they showed up, we weren't quite sure what to do. The authorities weren't providing any direction but Patti came and that was the turning point for finding Valerie. I will be eternally indebted to Patti and her organization. And thank you, Tim Evans, for writing the article. I pray no one has to experience needing Patti and her organization at least you know there is help and hope! God bless you, Patti!

Jeffersonville, IN

#6 Apr 9, 2007
Keep on bringing your cases to the media. If anything it would put more pressure on the law to do their job. I feel people would come forward with information that could possibly help in cases but, they fear they wont be taken seriously. I feel if it wasnt for the families bringing things to the media nobodys loved ones cases would ever be solved. I think they should replace some of the people in charge of alot of these cases in Indiana. I was shock to find out how many people come up missing in the U.S. each year. I pray you get all the laws passed that will help. God bless

Indianapolis, IN

#7 Apr 10, 2007
Search and Rescue dogs in the State of Indiana should have basic criteria for certification. If dogs are searching without these qualifications, then the public is misled into believing the areas searched were truly cleared. All SAR (Search and Rescue) canines plus handlers should be required to maintain basic competencies. Any one can deem themselves a SAR group. We as the public, that have lost a loved one, can become victims, as a result of non certified volunteer groups seeking media for notoriety, or others for training profiteering.
These quasi SAR groups hopefully will eventually be held accountable, for missed finds…victims that should have been found and would have been found by a trained certified dog. Ask for documented certification and training records. If the team can not provide them, DO NOT USE THEM.
Dogs should be certified by one of the following reputable organizations:
1. NASAR (National Association of Search and Rescue);
2. USPCA (United States Police Canine Association);
3. IPWDA (International Police Work Dog Association).
4. LETS (Law enforcement Training Specialists)
Handlers should maintain a SAR TECH II, as a minimum requirement.
In-house, or associated quasi certifications are questionable, to say the least.
If the SAR team that you are trusting to find your loved one does not meet this requirement, a red flag should go up.
The State of Indiana does have in place, a list of qualified dogs to perform SAR. Please ascertain, prior to employing a group, that they meet the requirements of the State of Indiana.
For more information, you may contact the State Homeland Security Office
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Division of Training
Patti Bishop

United States

#8 Apr 10, 2007
I want to Thank Everyone for All the words of kindness and most of all for ALL the Volunteers, Family & Friends who make this possible for IN Hope to reach out to others in need.
To Add, the Advance K9 Search and Recovery Unit that our group and the NCMEC utilizes meets all the above requirements. Thank You Barb for bringing the requirements for any SAR team, it is important to check the SAR Units out before using them. That is a #1 reason why IN Hope chooses Advance K9 Search and Recovery.

San Francisco, CA

#9 Apr 11, 2007
this is a wonderful group of people,they helped find valerie vickery west when the family did not know where to turn. valerie's sister laura and tammy can not praise this group highly enough. they came in and just made things happen even though the outcome was sad, at least they know where valerie is. this group did more to help the family than the police did.God bless them all.
Amy Mulnix

Richmond, IN

#10 Apr 12, 2007
I agree with Barb, certification of dogs and handlers is an absolute must. Groups using dog teams should demand to see the documentation that accompanies any certification. As Barb indicated IDHS maintains such a list.

Dogs can be invaluable in a search. At the same time, a poorly trained/worked dog can mislead the entire search and waste important resources and time.

The families and friends involved in these circumstances are at especially vulnerable points and circumstances. Working through the IDHS can ensure that the those dogs that are working are the best available.
Patt Bishop

United States

#11 Apr 13, 2007
I have a question for both Barb and Amy. Where is the documentation for your Handlers and Dogs? Are you speaking only of the Homeland and Security Documentation being the ONLY certification you feel is good? Do you have a SAR Unit, and are they free to the Families and Law Enforcement?

I will repeat, our Dogs and Handlers are certified and continue their education and constant certification.

In 6 years this is the first time I have heard of any SAR units from the State level. There are so many Law Enforcement Units across the State who are not aware that there are SAR Units in the State available for their Emergency use! Too many times I have heard from the families of the Missing, that the LE does not have search dogs.

Please let me know if yours posts are directed at our Group and the Units we utilize.

Our SAR are certified, I do not have all their certifications on me, but I will post when I get them, as well as the Unit is called out by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, who I am positive makes sure the Units they use are certified.

Again, If you have SAR, I would suggest you Educate the Law Enforcement Agencies throughout the State of Indiana as to your avaialability and cost. If you are employed at Homeland Security and Transportation than I would suggest you take some funds and Educate and Bring Awareness to All the available, certified SAR Units so the LE can utilize them and not risk another life because "they do not have the funding for such search dogs"!

My post is not meant to be taken out of context, just wanting more information and keeping the light on the bigger picture which is Our group is a group of Families and Friends of Missing Adult's in Indiana who are sharing our experience, strength, resources,compassion and hope to those in need.

United States

#12 Apr 13, 2007
A quick search of ‘search dogs in Indiana’ turns up only one team. They list certifications on their webpage… I assume they can produce documentation if required.
I know IDHS is working on a state standard. I do not know if it is complete. I did not see certifications listed on the Advance K9 page. I did not look long and hard.
Ms. Bishop, et el; Please do not take offence to anything I have said here. I am simply here to learn, thus I ahs pointed questions
lisa T

Fayetteville, AR

#13 Jun 23, 2007
Ever sinse patti and lisa J told me about val being missing, I was shocked and concerned and saddened by this sadful event. I too, knew val, she was a good friend and we kept in contact then suddenly it stopped. I didnt think any of it, until patti showed me some sites of val being missing. I too, would like to thank patti for helping with this, shes a good friend and always willing to help and lend a helping hand. i love her to death, shes a blessed friend to have. May val rest in peace, shes happy now no more pain for her in tnis so called hell we live in. Blessings to all...

Indianapolis, IN

#14 Jul 5, 2007
Patti, did you get the certifications in hand from Advance K-9? In answer to your question...ALL reputable SAR groups are volunteer and will respond to call outs from Law Enforcement. IHDS does not have or hold certs. they only give out a list of qualified/certified dogs. As you witnessed in Ohio...non certified dogs do not lend for an optimal search. The poor family, going through false alert, after false alert, and the boy in Purdue, being bypassed by cadaver dogs daily. A certified dog would have picked up scent after that long...from quite a distance...even though he was inside a building. God's speed...and luck to you.

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