Dedicated to finding lost and missing persons using specially trained search dogs in partnership with local emergency agencies


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SCSARDA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
We do not charge anything for our services.


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South Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association

Team Member Profiles

SCSARDA members come from many professional
backgrounds which add great diversity and skill sets to
our team. Our team members are highly trained volunteers
who are dedicated to serving the
community. Members
maintain high standards of excellence in Search and Rescue
work through on-going training and certifications.



Maria Pellegrino

Maria is the current President of SCSARDA, and a founding member.  She first began training
a SAR dog in 1995, and in 2001 began SCSARDA with a fellow paramedic.  Maria has a 20 year
career as a paramedic and maintains her certification (NREMT-P). She also has EMS supervisory
experience. Her EMS experience includes 9 years on a dive rescue team, and she also worked
for air medical helicopter services during her career.  Maria is currently working as a certified
registered nurse anesthetist.  Her passion is for excellence in volunteer SAR team training and
deployment in SC. Maria holds a NASAR SAR II certification.



Sotet -   NASAR Certified Air Scent -   In Memory

Fenja -  NAPWDA Certified Cadaver -  In Memory

Duke   - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver -  In Memory

Zoey -    In training, trailing


Mitch Henderson

Mitch joined SCSARDA in 2012. He is the Vice President of SCSARDA.  He is a certified first responder as a volunteer fireman with Boiling Spring Fire Department. In addition, Mitch has his NASAR SAR II certification. He is an avid outdoorsman and runner. 

-Team Certified Aged Trail & - NAPWDA Certified Trailing



Misha Marshall

Misha is the current Treasurer of SCSARDA. Misha joined SCSARDA in 2005. Misha is employed
as a Corporate Tax Manager for a large health system in Virginia.
Misha's current training goals
are to continue to expand her skills in trailing and air-scent through certifications and seminars.
Misha holds a NASAR SAR II certification and a Wilderness First Responder certification.



Gandalf - NAPWDA certified Trailing - In Memory

Rainey -  NAPWDA certified Trailing - Retired



Nancy Jocoy

Nancy is the current Secretary of SCSARDA. She joined SCSARDA in 2003, and is employed
as a certified quality engineer for a large non profit organization. Nancy's current training
goals are to continue to develop expertise in the field of human remains detection with Beau,
certify Tilly in trailing, and serve as a backup at the Incident Command for mapping and
planning activities when needed. In the past.. Nancy holds a NASAR SAR II Certification



Cyra-Air Scent - In Memory

Grim - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver - In Memory

Beau - NAPWDA Certified Cadaver

Tilly  -In training, trailing





Laurin Landis

Laurin joined SCSARDA in 2007. Laurin graduated with honors from the South Carolina
Criminal Justice Academy and SC Department of Corrections Academy and has a
background in law enforcement. Laurin served as an assistant for defensive tactics
instructions at the criminal justice academy. Laurin is presently employed as professional
fire fighter and EMT



Memphis - Trailing - in memory

Justice- Cadaver - in training





Sarah Hey

Sarah came to SCSARDA in 2009. She has a BA in Speech with a minor in writing, and a Masters
degree in Communication with a concentrate in marketing.  She has worked in marketing
strategy, communication, project management, speech coaching, and public relations for the
past 15 years. She brings her skills to SCSARDA and has been responsible for most of the
outreach and communication with the press about SCSARDA activities and accomplishments. 
She continues to pursue expertise in area search training with her K9 Brand.



Brand - Team Certified Large Area Air Scent, Team Certified Night Air Scent,

NAPWDA Certified Air Scent



Marion Tisdale

Marion joined SCSARDA in 2013. After graduating from Clemson University in 1987, Marion
returned to Spartanburg to work in small business. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have 2
daughters, Catherine Eve and Ashley. As a small business owner, Marion always saw the
importance of volunteerism and community involvement. From 2007-2012, he served on the
Board of Directors for HALTER, a local nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback riding
to the handicapped.....Combining the unique skills of animals with community service is a very
fulfilling endeavor, and I have been very fortunate to have found two organizations whose
membership has been so welcoming and generous with their knowledge.

Marion holds a NASAR SAR II certification and a PADI open water scuba certification.


Maya -  Team Certified Large Area Air Scent, Team Certified Night Air Scent,

NAPWDA Certified Air Scent





Michel Galliot

Michel joined the team in June 2015. He is a the owner of a small international
business specialized in the women's lingerie and swimwear industry. He always
wanted to have German Shepherds and become a breeder, and in the process
of acquiring his dogs, he discovered the world of search and rescue and has found
great fulfillment in serving the community this way. Michel is a passionate hunter
and has experience in the wilderness. Michel intends to  pursue Human Remains

Detection training in the future with a second dog.

Michel holds a NASAR SAR II certification


Shadow-Team Certified Large Area Air Scent, Team Certified Night Air Scent,

NAPWDA Certified Air Scent




Leah Cook

Leah joined the team in June 2018.
As the wife of a US Marine, Leah wanted to serve her community in the way that
she could, which lead her to SCSARDA in 2017. Her hopes are to blend her profession
and passion for dog training and canine scent detection, with her desire to be of
service to the people in her community. Leah is a small business owner specializing in
behavior modification for fearful and aggressive dogs. She is an internationally certified
dog behavior consultant through the IAABC, a certified professional dog trainer through the
CCPDT, and has taught canine scent detection for over 3 years. Leah's current training
goals are to raise and train her new pup, Guillelmina "Mina", to be a trailing dog
and to certify with Mina by taking the NAPWDA trailing test, and to continuously seek out
education to help her be the best she can be for her team and the community..  


Leah holds a NASAR SAR II certification


Mina -In training for trailing