Disaster and Wilderness Ground Searchers, Inc. is a volunteer search unit dedicated to the training of search and rescue dogs, handlers and support personnel in order to provide professional and highly-skilled search and rescue teams in the event of emergency response events. The first priority of Disaster and Wilderness Ground Searchers, Inc. is to save lives.


D.A.W.G.S. was formed in 1997. After much training of dogs, handlers and our support personnel, we passed certification requirements and became operational in the Spring of 1998. Our primary search area is the state of Connecticut, although we are willing to assist disaster relief efforts and lost person searches wherever we are needed.

2020-2021 DAWGS Officers

  • President – Rick Shilling
  • Vice President – Bob Hollender
  • Treasurer – Chris Chorney
  • Secretary – Karen Gipstein

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Our teams at trainings, presentations and demonstrations