Dogs are widely known as man’s best. The list of reasons why goes on, and today we’d like to focus on dogs saving lives in times of disaster.

Earlier this month, the team at K9 Ballistics donated 25 Tough Dog Crate Pads and 25 Chew Proof Armored beds to the well-deserving pups at Search Dog Foundation! This donation extends the life of these 50 products that were returned to us from customers who lightly used them. While other companies simply discard used products, we find ours a good home to reduce waste! This is just one of our countless efforts as a Certified B Corporation committed to sustainability.

Located locally in Santa Paula, Search Dog Foundation (SDF) recruits dogs from across the country that are rescued from abuse or abandonment. Typically these dogs demonstrate high energy, tenacity and boldness, making them ideal for search and rescue, but unsuitable for a family pet.


After passing stringent screening and testing criteria, the dogs are then trained to harness that high energy, drive, and tenacity into life-saving skills. The facility is spread across about 150 acres with a multitude of different disaster scenarios:


This is the most basic test with which all dogs begin. They search for the person hidden in one of the tubes, trained to bark to notify its handler that it found the “victim” - until given the tug toy as a reward.

House wreckage with a small airplane crashed through a wall!


Train wreckage with three full size train cars!


Shown here is the interior of a slanted house to simulate landslides, earthquakes, and other natural disasters than can shift an entire house and its foundation. This house was custom built at an angle, and sits on top of a foundation that was custom built at the inverse angle to exaggerate the angle of the house. Walking down the house’s hallway was instantly dizzying, and the ceiling height quickly decreases from about eight feet down to about four feet at the far end. The house is purposely filled with clutter to help train the dogs to not get distracted from the scent they’re tracking.

Search Dog Foundation offers these professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments.

Living quarters for dog handlers when visiting for on-site training. 

SDF also ensures lifetime care for every dog in the program: once rescued, these dogs never need to be rescued again!

Their kennels are kept clean with top-notch care and equipment. Every dog - over 160 of them! - gets out at least four times a day, seven days a week. "Impressive" doesn't even cut it here; we were speechless after our extensive tour of Search Dog Foundation's facilities and training grounds. We look forward to continuing our support for these exceptional dogs and trainers 💛

Here's a peek at our donated beds in action on their first day:




If you're as impressed as we are and excited to help, we encourage you to donate to the Search Dog Foundation. As a reminder, it is 100% funded by private donations!

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  • This is really fun to see how great dogs are! Over here, we FINALLY just got over our dog using our couch as a bathroom lol. We got our furniture cleaned, but it’s fun to see the potential for our puppy! Thanks for sharing!

    Jeanie Manser on

  • I am fortunate enough to be a handler of one of the USAR K9’s from SDF. Your article is absolutely correct… the facilities, the staff and the mission at SDF are amazing! At one point in training, my class mates and I lived at the facility for two weeks. Those two weeks were among my best memories in recent history.
    My K9 partner Roma is very intense and has a habit of destroying just about anything and everything if given the chance. The K9 Ballistics armored crate beds are the only beds that she has not destroyed. It’s nice to know she is comfortable without buying a new bed each week.
    Thanks you for your high quality products and for your support for SDF and dogs like Roma.

    Derek on

  • I would like to visit at some point.
    I used to train for SARS and HRD in Indiana. Unfortunately we lost our trainer.
    Seeing this in the email today really makes me happy.
    I would be glad to support K9 Ballistics SARS.

    Jo on

  • Great article well written and great photos

    sean on

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