Other Training Opportunities

Northwest K9 SAR Boot Camp:

Skagit County K9 SAR is pleased to announce the

4th Annual Northwest K9 SAR Boot Camp

building on a Sound foundation

(observation and wait list positions only available)

We are super excited to have Deborah Palman and Teresa MacPherson with us this year. These outstanding women are both coming from the East Coast to work with us here in the beautiful PNW.

Deb and Teresa have over 60 years’ experience in SAR between them. They have so much to offer us through their wealth of boots-on-the-ground knowledge and their considerable teaching/training hours. All this experience will surely provide each and every handler a unique and lasting training opportunity. Scroll down to see their bios!

This year we are separating the disciplines so that, frankly, I can be present for both!!!! I could not pass up the opportunity to work with either of these amazing instructors. As usual, we will have wilderness, suburban, urban, and buildings. Some of your favorite spots and some new ones!

As always, your fee includes lunch, tee-shirt, goody bag, and “It’s A Wrap” event!

Here are the vital statistics:

  • DATES: Trailing August 19-22: HRD August 24-27.

  • LOCATION: Skagit County Washington (Burlington is centrally located).

  • FEE: $400 per discipline (discount of $25 if you do both) due in full no later than April 30th. $200 per observation spot (discount of $25 if you observe both).

  • DEPOSIT: $50 due with participation form.

  • LEVEL: Any beginning dogs need prior approval.

  • LODGING: Hotel discounts and RV access info to follow.

  • DEADLINE FOR FEES: All fess due by April 30th.

Participation Forms (click here for form) can be emailed or mailed. Deposits can be made via website SCK9SAR.ORG donation/paypal link. Or check made payable to SCK9SAR and mailed to my address below.

I look forward to seeing all of you!

Angelyn Gates

SCK9SAR Team Leader

If mailing a check please make payable to SCK9SAR and mail to Angelyn Gates, 1004 Commercial Avenue #501, Anacortes WA 98221. Please make sure your check arrives by April 30th.

Payment via PayPal may be made here: Pay with PayPal




We are very fortunate to have Deborah Palman as our Trailing Instructor this year. Deb has over 40 years of experience working with SAR K-9s.

She is currently working her 6th certified SAR dog, Raven. Deb has certified dogs in trailing, air scent/area, human remains and water. She has had over 20 finds of missing persons or their remains with her dogs. Not only has Deb served the K-9 SAR community as a seasoned handler, she has significant training and organizational experience as well.

Deb retired in 2008 after 30 years service as a game warden with the Maine Warden Service, the law enforcement division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine game wardens are first responders to persons missing in the rural areas of Maine. She worked a police and SAR certified K-9 with the Maine Warden Service for 29 of her 30 years of employment.

Deb was the Training Coordinator for the Maine Warden Service K-9 Team and one of the founding members of MESARD (Maine Search and Rescue Dogs). She served as Training Director for MESARD’s first 25 years and as President for some time.

Deb is a Master Trainer for search and rescue for the International Police Work Dog Association, a Level II trainer with the United States Police Canine Association, and a Maine Criminal Justice Academy K-9 Trainer. She was also President of the Maine Association for Search and Rescue, Maine’s statewide search and rescue association, which administers certification standards for SAR resources, dispatches volunteer SAR resources and is a networking organization for SAR in the state of Maine. She also currently trains police K9 teams for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as a part time Special Deputy.

Deb uses her vast experience in multiple K-9 disciplines and countless deployments to provide a broad spectrum of training for trailing handlers. We are very excited to have Deb with us this year. We will work our dogs in wilderness, suburban and urban environments.



This year, we are excited to have Ms. Teresa MacPherson as our HRD instructor. Teresa has a long and impressive history in K9 Search and Rescue, specializing in Human Remains K9 search since 1992. Teresa has certified multiple canine partners in wilderness, disaster, HRD and water.

Teresa has deployed in the United States for various local and national agencies, including the FBI, CIA and NCIS, and on significant events such as the OKC bombing, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, Superstorm Sandy and the Oso mudslide. Teresa has also deployed internationally to the Bam, Iran earthquake, the school collapse in Haiti, the Haiti earthquake, the Japan earthquake/tsunami, the Nepal earthquake and the Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Teresa has been sharing her vast knowledge of K9 HRD search through teaching and evaluating handlers, resources and programs throughout the United States and in Turkey, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Australia. She chaired the FEMA Canine Sub-Group for nine years and has been a member of both the NIMs SAR Working Group and SWGDOG (now NIST), among various other K9 SAR organizations. She has also worked with Virginia Task Force One and the Virginia Search and Rescue Dog Association.

Teresa exudes a calm and quiet confidence while teaching, which lets the handler relax and focus on the task at hand. Her support and individualized feedback during each exercise provides a unique opportunity to learn and practice specific skills. Teresa has also agreed to give us some classroom time where she will share experiences from, and knowledge of, the realities of HRD K9 search.

We thank Teresa for pulling herself away from Virginia, her husband and Labradors so that we may learn from her and have a great time in the Pacific Northwest!