SAR Dogs Otago Inc. is a registered charity and affiliated to Land SAR New Zealand Inc..
SAR (Search And Rescue) dogs are owned by their handler and are trained by the handler with assistance from peers and senior handlers from around New Zealand.
Before a team of dog & handler participate in a live search operation, they must be certified operational by process of assessment laid by New Zealand LandSAR Dogs Inc.; the national body overseeing training and assessment of all search dogs for use in wilderness or avalanche situations in New Zealand.
Search and Rescue in New Zealand is the responsibility of the Police who have small, specialised SAR Sections. Volunteers are essential however to assist in SAR operations. Volunteers are drawn from the membership of LandSAR New Zealand Inc.. Search Dogs are one of the volunteer resources available, and handlers are first and foremost members of LandSAR New Zealand as trained search team members.