Ohio Federation of K9 Search Teams

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About Us


The Ohio Federation of K9 Search Teams, Inc. developed from a shared interest on the part of Ohio search dog handlers to standardize the requirements for certification. Founded by eight search dog groups and independent handlers, the Federation developed a constitution, bylaws, evaluation standards/criteria, a code of ethics and committee structure.

Sandra Lesko and K9 Eliot NessConferences

The Federation's first Search Dog Conference with the Ohio EMA was held in the fall of 1996. These events have included:  Internationally known search dog handlers, forensic anthropologists, and other well known instructors who have spoken at the conferences, directed actual field teaching, and/or served as evaluators for the members.

The Federation participated in helping to organize the first annual Ohio Search and Rescue Conference in October of 2009.


K9 Tactical Advisory Committee

This committee was developed through the Department of Homeland Security, Ohio Response System and in under the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.  The K-9 TAC's purpose is to enhance the capability of K-9 response in the State of Ohio through standardized operations, training and logistics. This is a multi-disciplinary TAC which includes all aspects of working dogs, such as Tracking/Trailing, Search and Rescue and Cadaver dogs. Also included are Accelerant, Narcotics and Explosives detection dogs as well as General Patrol. A statewide K-9 database has been established which includes a central notification system for K-9 Deployment throughout the State of Ohio. To become part of the Ohio K-9 Database please click on the link below to begin the application process.

Ohio Emergency Management Agency


The Federation currently holds quarterly business meetings. Interested non-member K9 search teams and individuals are invited to attend, as well as emergency and/or law enforcement agencies. Meeting dates, locations and time can be found on our online events calendar.


The Federation hosts certifications from national organizations such as North American Work Dog Association (NAPWDA) and the International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA) that meet the requirements of the state K9 Tactical Advisory Committee (TAC) and NIMS resource typing.


Current annual dues for Federation membership are $100.00 per team (covers all team members) or $25.00 for an individual membership. To find out more about becoming a member of the Ohio Federation of K9 Search Teams, please feel free to contact us.