Maia is certified through the national organization “American Mantrailing, Police, & Working Dog Association (AMPWDA)” as both a live-find trailing dog and a Human Remains Detection dog. Today, she focuses primarily on cadaver work. Jennifer Davis Miller, who volunteers in search and rescue in Wake County on The REDS Team, purchased Maia from Marisa Shaw with the intention of training her for search and rescue.
“Emergency management and law enforcement depend on search-and-rescue K9s to help locate victims, and that is a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” says Miller. “Training a search-and-rescue dog takes a great deal of time and dedication. When I am called out to do a search, all of Maia’s training gets put to the test, and it’s not the time to make mistakes. We spend a significant amount of time every week training. … Real-world searches don’t always have a happy ending, but we train very hard to ensure we can be as successful as possible.”
Miller says that Maia stands out from other dogs based on her drive. “A dog’s drive is their motivation to do what you want them to do and a lot of it comes form their genetics,” she says. “Maia’s drive to work is very high. My search-and-rescue team, The REDS Team, has several live-find K9s, but Maia is the only Human Remains Detection K9, so she is used every time my team is called for this type of search.”