PORTLAND – Crews were still searching for missing people more than a week after a deadly landslide buried homes and claimed at least 21 lives in Oso, Wash.
The key to finding victims, officials say, has been rescue and cadaver dogs. Now, several Portland dog owners are volunteering their canines to aid in the search effort.
More than a dozen Portland residents brought their dogs to Oso on Friday. The labs, German Shepherds and hounds spent the weekend finding several spots where victims might be located.
The dogs’ keen sense of smell helps crews find specific locations to search for bodies.
“Because of the distance possibly between the surface and potentially where the person would be, most of the time, these dogs – instead of giving a full alert –would just have a really big change in their body language and the way they’re moving around,” said Michelle Schireman, volunteer with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.
On Sunday, the residents headed back to Portland with their dogs. Officials said 30 people were still missing Monday.
KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.