Dogs need a place for rescue training
THE hunt is on to find a new training ground for Search and Rescue dogs in North Devon now that Northam Burrows is no longer suitable.
James Taylor-Short, from Westward Ho! is the owner of North Devon's search and rescue dog Poppy but is concerned about being able to continue training her in the future.
He said: "We have stopped using Northam Burrows since the summer after a series of sheep attacks were happening down there.
"We were concerned that people using the burrows might think the search and rescue dogs were dogs who might attack the sheep so we didn't want to create that confusion."
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James, who is also a coastguard in Westward Ho!, said the training needs to take place between Exmoor and Bude and in a space of at least five acres.
He added: "During the past few months I have been travelling to Dartmoor each week and it is just costing too much and takes too long.
"We train once a week for a couple of hours and then once a month all the dogs in the area, from the rest of Devon and Cornwall meet to train together.
"When we are doing national training sometimes it takes three full days.
"We can just go and use land but the concern is we will be questioned about what we are doing.
"It is just easier to have a designated area.
"During the training we have people who give up their time to go and hide so the dogs then have to find them. It can take up to two hours and the volunteers lie in sleeping bags.
"We also need more volunteers to come forward because the dogs become accustomed to smell of the same people so it makes it easy for them."
If you have any suggestions for a suitable site for the training to take place or would like to volunteer contact James on 07794 810999 or email him on james. email@example.com