The efforts at the Oso landslide scene are being supported by a very well trained team - search and rescue dogs from Virginia Task Force One.
FEMA asked them to help with the Oso search. On average, they've been working between four and eight hours a day in the field.
"(The dogs) approach every day when we give them the work command, whatever it is for that dog, they go at it like they are supposed to with all the energy that we would expect,” said Sally Dickinson, who works with the border collie named Fielder.
Dickinson said the terrain is tough for the dogs to work in but that’s what they are trained for. She said the mud at the site is hampering the dogs’ ability to smell.
“They are trained to detect odor and there has to be a way for that odor to get to them,” she said.
“However, we’ve proved throughout this event that they are being successful, that they are doing their job and they are able to work in their environment that really, we have no way of preparing for.”
The dogs are very well cared for and their health status is checked daily. The Washington State Department of Agriculture activated their Reserve Veterinary Corps to help care for all the dogs working the site.
There are 20 FEMA dog teams from Utah, Arizona, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Texas and Washington at the site.