Norma S.


Norma Snelling

2014 Winner

Sequim, WA
Nominated by Sue Wolff

Volunteered for:

National Search Dog Alliance

Length of Service:

80+ hours per month for 7 years

Volunteered for:

California Rescue Dog Association

Length of Service:

30 hours per month for 12 years

January 25, 2014

Volunteer canine search and rescue teams come to the aid of people lost and endangered at all hours of the day and night, in all types of weather. They serve without pay and without compensation for gas, equipment or even their dog's food. Norma saw a need to give these teams support by means of training, education and a national certification to a standard that would assure their competence in looking for the lost and injured. She helped found the National Search Dog Alliance to accomplish that goal and has enjoyed watching it grow from state to state.

Norma has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the organization. She has traveled from Florida to Alaska on behalf of NSDA, testing and training beginning dog handlers in how to save lives. A beginning handler may spend 2,000 hours of training to gain certification.

Her dedication began over 20 years ago when an 18 month old toddler was found deceased within a hundred feet of her home, after three days of being searched for by three poorly trained canine search dog teams. She is now training her own sixth search and rescue dog to continue her personal efforts. She and others in NSDA serve countless hours on behalf of those dog teams scattered in neighborhoods across the country who search to bring loved ones back to their families.

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Nominations - 1,060

Votes - 110,781

Prize Description

The National Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $5,000 donation, courtesy of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network. Each Local Winner’s designated non-profit charity will receive a $500 donation. All Winners will receive a certificate and a spot in the Contest’s “Wall of Fame” here on in recognition of their outstanding service.

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