September 15, 2010
Saibra, a four-year-old search dog from Blue and Gray Search and Rescue in Harrisonburg, was recently put the test. She and her handler, Ronnie Rhodes, were called to Roanoke to find a missing hiker on Poor Mountain.
Rhodes says, "This search was a very treacherous search. The terrain was very steep."
Saibra found the cold and injured man in a deep ravine, and she even has the battle wounds to prove it.
Rhodes adds, "You have that integrity, and you feel comfortable with them being out there. You feel comfortable not missing someone, it makes you really proud when they do make a find like that."
The Blue and Gray search team is only one of several in the state. Training Director Kathleen Connor says a rescue like the one in Roanoke doesn't happen often.
She adds, "I've been doing this for about 15 years, and I have yet to find anyone alive."
While Saibra may have been the hero this time around, Connor says the entire search team committed themselves to the find.
"It was persistence," Connor adds. "They did not stop and give up, no matter what the terrain was like."
The missing man, 19-year-old Koby Karuzis, had been in the woods for two days. More than 40 rescuers worked to find him.