People to contact for classes

Andy and Marcia recommend the following search dog trainers. All have taught classes with us.

Stacie Burkhardt

Sage & Jake
Sage and Jake

K9 Search and Rescue since 1999

Stacie started in K9 Search and Rescue with King County Search Dogs in WA state in1999, responding to hundreds of searches in WA and other states over the next 10 years. In 2009 she moved to AK and has been nurturing K9 SAR teams in the Matanuska Valley of AK and surrounding areas. She has coordinated yearly K9 Workshops in Water, Land Cadaver and Avalanche search in AK and the lower 48 since 2005. Stacie has mentored numerous teams in airscent, trailing, water, cadaver, avalanche and article search and is also a Principal Evaluator for the National Search Dog Alliance.

Classes taught: Wilderness Airscent, Water, Cadaver, Avalanche



Heather Jo Cutting & Josh Gerstman

Heather & Tryon
Heather and Tryon
Josh & Edgar
Josh and Edgar

 (Kent, WA State) Dog Search and Rescue since 1997 Member: King County Search Dogs (training chair), National Search Dog Alliance Heather has worked hundreds of searches in King county and Washington State. I specialize in helping new teams get off the ground. During my 15 years being involved, I’ve helped dozens of teams get to certification. I’ve assisted Andy and Marcia teach a number of classes over the years, and taught my first solo class in Oregon in summer of 2011. Classes taught: Airscent(wilderness), Cadaver, Water

(Kent, WA State)

Dog Search and Rescue since 1997

Member: King County Search Dogs, Dog Handler, Operations Leader & Air Scent Evaluator.

Josh and Edgar became a certified Air Scent Team in Fall, 1999 and certified as cadaver in Fall 2001, with additional training in water and avalanche. They worked as a team on hundreds of searches between 1999 and Edgar's retirement in Spring 2011. Josh has been an instructor at Washington State SARCON and co-instructed with Heather Cutting in Water and Air Scent workshops and worked as assistant instructor in several cadaver workshops.

Classes taught: Airscent(wilderness), Cadaver, Water



Kathy Chiodo Holbert

Kathy & Strega in Iraq
Kathy and Strega in Iraq

(Philippi, WV)

Military and Law Enforcement dog handler

Dog Search and Rescue since 1994

Member: Barbour County Tactical Search and Recovery Teams, Law Enforcement Training Specialists (LETS master trainer and certification officer), Mountaineer Working Dog Association (certification officer and trainer), Mountaineer Area Rescue Group

Kathy spent a year in Iraq with her cadaver dog Strega.

Classes taught: Cadaver, Trailing, Water

Sue Lavoie and Robert Langendoen

Sue & Cisco and Summer
Sue and Cisco and Summer
Bob with Micah and Cayce - Cadaver Class
Bob with Micah and Cayce


Dog Search and Rescue since 1985

Member: NJSAR, West Milford SAR, IPWDA, APDT

Sue Lavoie became a professional dog trainer in 1981, and joined a K9 SAR team with her first GSD "Elise" in 1985. Sue worked her GSD "Jerry" at Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island after 9/11, flown to the arctic region of Quebec in search of a missing caribou hunter as well as hundreds of other searches. Sue is currently working with her 5th and 6th SAR dogs, "Summer" a long coated GSD, and "Cisco" a young English Shepherd.

Sue has presented classes and lectures at multiple workshops and seminars including SR/DR, NASAR, PASARC SAR EX, NPMA. Her primary interest is in HRD work and cold cases. She specializes in teaching clicker training and training a solid indication.

Classes taught: Cadaver, Water


Dog Search and Rescue since 1978

Member: NJSAR, K9 Team, Captain

Bob started SAR with the NJFFS and is a Charter Member of NJSAR. He began in K9 SAR with Ramapo Rescue Dog Assn. (ARDA, NJ) in 1982 where he responded to hundreds of searches from Maine to Puerto Rico. With NJSAR he continues to train, evaluate and mentor K9 Handlers and Teams through Classroom and Field Trainings along with numerous finds and "cold cases” in between. He and his Team work closely with Teams in NY, NJ and PA plus host an annual HRD Workshop and a Water Training. He has testified in court as an expert witness, is a writer and has been a speaker at National Conferences (NASAR, SR/DR) and State Conferences (NY Federation of SAR). Recently he has been a host on Fox News, Animal Planet and interviewed with Candice Delonge on her radio program Crime Time.

Classes: Air Scent, Cadaver, Water

Linda Murphy

Linda & Deva
Linda and Deva

Linda and Deva

(Media, Delaware County, PA)

Dog trainer for 23 years

Dog Search and Rescue since 2001

Member: PA Recovery Dogs, International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA), LETS, National Association for SAR (NASAR)

Linda has been an instructor in advanced cadaver for the PA SAR Council since 2004 as well as having been a co-instructor for seminars in NJ, NY and PA. She is an evaluator the cadaver testing for NJSAR Council teams as well as being a SARCNJ committee member of canine standards.

Classes taught: Cadaver



Kathy Newman

Kathy & Bandit
Kathy and Bandit
Kathy & Bandit
Kathy and Bandit

(Elk River, MN)

Dog Search and Rescue since 1981

Member: MN Search and Rescue Dog Association, NASAR, North American Search Dog Network (evaluator)

Kathy has been a training director since 1985 and an operational leader since 1988. Kathy has taught many SAR classes for units in and out of MN. She has worked several building explosions, burned buildings, tornados and floods (Joplin, MO). She went to Washington, DC and helped develop FEMA teams. A highlight of her experience was three weeks of cadaver training at the CT State Police Training Center, under Trooper Andy Rebmann. Kathy and her dog then located a homicide victim after the end of the class.

Classes taught: Air-scent, Cadaver, Trailing,

Deb Tirmenstein

Deb & Chinook
Deb and Chinook
Deb & Wibaux'
Deb and Wibaux' "Tail"

(Missoula, MT)

Dog Search and Rescue since 1986

Member: Clarkfork-Bitterroot Search Dogs, handler with Working Dogs for Conservation, Western Montana Retriever Club

Deb has worked four different SAR dogs on hundreds of searches with many different agencies. She’s taught canine SAR courses across the US and Canada and has presented lectures and seminars at national and state conferences since 1996. Recently Deb is working as a paid canine handler with a conservation detection project involving noxious weeds.

Her goal is to improve basic canine skills and foster better communication with other resources. Specific technical applications combined with good strategies can help improve success rates.

Classes taught: Cadaver, Water, Search strategies, Troubleshooting



Matthew Zarrella

Matt & Maximus
Matt and Maximus
Matt & Maximus
Matt and Maximus


Dog Search and Rescue since 1991

RI State Police 1990 – present

Member: RI USAR Team (Search Team Manager since 2002), International Police Work Dog Association IPWDA (Master Trainer), New England State Police Administrators Conference (NESPAC)

Matt is a 23-year veteran with the RI State Police and has been involved in SAR and K9 training since 1991. He is also a K9 trainer for the RI State Police and developed their first SAR K9 program. Matt has worked as a co-instructor with Andy Rebmann and Marcia Koenig since 1997 and trained K9 teams in cadaver, wilderness, disaster, water, trailing and article search. Matt created the first Canine SAR standards for the RI State Police and the State of RI.

Matt has traveled to different parts of the world to work on cases with his canines looking for missing persons and military personnel still listed as missing in action. He has conducted searches in various areas of the United States and in Vietnam, Columbia and Bolivia South America.

Classes taught: Airscent/Wilderness, Article search, Cadaver, Disaster