WICHITA, Kansas — Two Wichita women and their K-9 recovery dogs were deployed to Texas after the Memorial Day weekend floods.
Edith Wiley and Nadine Conner are K-9 handlers.
The two Wichita women, along with their recovery dogs, Rusty and Freck, spent four days straight last week along the Blanco River volunteering their efforts to recover any victims.
The recovery dogs sorted through debris in some areas higher than 20 feet.
Rusty and Freck were both trained in Wichita.
“We train to do this… go down when they need help, and they asked us to deploy,” said Nadine Conner. “Hours and hours and miles and miles down there, and they didn’t stop. They kept going.”
“We’re just trying to recover these families,” said Edith Wiley.
The extent of devastation and destruction in the impacted areas, both women told KSN News, was worse than you could imagine.
“Something that you’ll never imagine. It was horrible,” said Wiley.
“The pictures don’t do it justice,” said Conner.
The recovery dogs were split up along the river in an organized fashion. That way, they say, the teams could ‘clear’ one area of the map, confident no one was trapped or bodies of victims were abandoned, and then, the teams would move on to the next area.
“That is so important to have that closure, and so, that’s all we wanted to do,” said Wiley.
“The ‘not knowing’ is worse for most people,” said Conner.
“That’s why we do this is to help the families give them that closure, give them that time with that person to say ‘goodbye,'” said Wiley. “This is something I can do. I can train that dog. A good trained dog is worth its weight in gold. It did triple as fast, clear an area, than it would with ten men on the ground.”
At last report, as many as 13 people are still missing across Texas. Four people still reported missing in Hays County alone.