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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 8:59 pm | Fair 49º


Search & Rescue K9 Retires After 10 Years of Service

Kody and handler Rick Stein have responded to countless searches and rescues

One of two K9s with the Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue team is retiring after 10 years of service.

Kody, a 12-year-old Australian shepherd, joined the all-volunteer team in 2001. Since that time, Kody and his handler, SAR Team member Rick Stein, have been called to countless searches and rescues.

Kody is certified in both air scent and cadaver. During his career, Kody has been successful in finding both live and deceased subjects.

In addition to being a search resource for Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue, Kody and Stein have been active in the Mount Pinos Nordic Ski Patrol and the California Rescue Dog Association.

“I’m proud of Kody’s years of service, but this is the right time,” said Stein, adding that it was a hard decision to retire Kody.

Stein plans to train another pup in about a year for search and rescue. For the time being, Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue will utilize its one other K9 search member, Blaze, who is certified in trailing and cadaver.

The Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue team is an all-volunteer branch of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

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