The Canadian Search and Disaster Dogs Association (CASDDA) arrived in Sun Peaks on March 6 to assist in the search for missing resident Ryan Shtuka.
Eight handlers and five scent searching dogs travelled from across B.C. and Alberta as part of the ongoing efforts to find Shtuka who was last seen leaving a house party in the early hours of Feb. 17. Since his disappearance RCMP, Kamloops Search and Rescue and teams of volunteers, family and friends have scoured the village on the ground, by air and with tracking dogs.
Silvie Montier, leader of the CASDDA team who travelled to Sun Peaks, said they are a volunteer group who work independently of organizations like RCMP and search and rescue.
Montier said they were requested to attend by Shtuka’s family.
“As long as the person in charge of the file agrees for us to come then we will deploy,” she said.
Because the dogs used by the team are trained differently than tracking dogs they are hopeful they will be successful.
“It’s not a matter of better or worse, the fact is that dogs don’t work the same. The big advantage of the scenter is that in this situation contamination is not a problem…dogs, coyotes, whatever (scents) doesn’t matter to them.”
Montier added they will start in the area near Burfield Dr. before moving elsewhere if needed.
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“We start with the area the family asked us the cover then we try to go outside the box if we have time. Obviously if he’s not where people have been searching he’s somewhere else.”
It was too early in the search to say if they have found anything or comment on the chance of doing so.
“Until we’ve found him, we have nothing.”
CASDDA teams will be working in the village until March 10.