Utah Search Dogs brings on a new team

Jul 26, 2022, 9:40 AM | Updated: 6:17 pm

CENTERVILLE, Utah — Utah Search Dogs, a nonprofit that joins together handlers and their dogs to help with search and rescue efforts across the state, is bringing on a new team.

Casey Koon, and her newest family member slash teammate, Ragnar, formerly Driggs, may be all puppy right now, but they are putting in work to one day help provide closure and save lives.

“Look at those ears!” Koon said.


The German shepherd and his handler will train together as the newest team with Utah Search Dogs, a Utah nonprofit that trains and equips search dog teams to help federal, state and local authorities in emergency search and rescue situations.

“I fell in love with it immediately,” Koon said.

It’s Koon’s way to give back following two near-death experiences in her lifetime, including a car wreck where doctors initially said her chances of living were slim, and if she did live, she would probably lose an arm.

Both times, strangers came to her rescue.

“I haven’t looked back,” Koon said.

Rather, she’s been looking down at Ragnar, who, these days, is more often than not caught pairing his new set of pointy ears with his sniffer to sniff out sticks – and shoes.

Before you know it, 10-and-a-half-week-old Ragnar will be running with the big dogs.

For now, they’ll continue logging hours of training and learning from other handlers and their dogs.

Eventually, they will get to the point where they will focus on defeating areas that could include anything from wilderness searches and avalanches to missing persons and runaways.

“We work very closely with various counties, like track and trailing, area search, human remains detection, distaste search,” said Jayson Harames, president of Utah Search Dogs.

“I work with my dog about 15 minutes at least every day, and then on weekends two to three hours,” Harames said.

In the meantime, Ragnar will be sitting like the good boy he is watching and learning what big paws he’ll get to fill.

“I think that we’ll start off with the tracking. I’m really interested in doing avalanche as well. We’ll take it one step at a time,” Koon said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE PHOTO: The Chickadee lift is pictured at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, Oct...
Madison Swenson

Interlodge in effect at Snowbird, Alta Ski Area

Two ski resorts in Little Cottonwood Canyon are now under interlodge protocol due to active storms in the area.
16 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Karah Brackin

KSL TV flies with all-female medical flight crew from Ogden

A medical flight crew based out of Ogden is making a name for itself as an all-female crew.
16 hours ago
A man shot himself when police arrived to serve a search warrant in an investigation involving chil...
Brooke Williams

Police: Grantsville man shot himself upon police serving search warrant

A man shot himself when police arrived to serve a search warrant in an investigation involving child sexual abuse material.
16 hours ago
Traffic cameras show 300 West and South Temple in Salt Lake Ciy covered in snow Friday. (Utah Depar...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko

‘This is just the appetizer’: More snow expected Friday afternoon

It's nearly April, but the Wasatch Front is preparing for another winter storm that is expected to drop between 1 and 4 inches of snow in the valleys through Friday evening.
16 hours ago
Fernando Perez, El Salvador consul general, talks with Jose Aviles at the consulate of El Salvador ...
Sydnee Gonzalez

New Salt Lake consulate already helping many of the 20,000 Salvadorans in Utah

Salvadorans in Utah finally had their requests for a consulate answered earlier this month.
16 hours ago
A layer of inversion keeps the skies grey over Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 26. A small system ...
Jen Christensen

‘Equal opportunity to be healthy’: Stricter air pollution standards would benefit some populations more than others, study says

Everyone benefits when there is less air pollution, but it pays off more for older communities with high poverty rates and those where larger populations of Black people live, regardless of income, a new study finds.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Utah Search Dogs brings on a new team