48 years experience.
We've responded to calls from Private families, friends of the missing, government agencies, Federal, State, City, County Law enforcement agencies, Medical examiners. Since 1972. With SAR Dogs since 1986.
Besides documenting each and every call that comes into our headquarters, we write clear, concise, accurate reports. They've held up in both the criminal and civil trials that I am brought in to testifty in. I have a 100% conviction rate on criminal trials and a 100% win rate in civil trials.
Some of our thousands of references re Missing pet searches.
Babette C. Deer Trail, CO 12/4/2019 I lost 2 dogs that chased a bear off our property. On day 4 of missing, Harry gave me specific instructions on to who to call to report the missing dogs. It was along list and took a few hours but totally worth it. He saved me thousands of dollars by giving me advice and guidance on gathering resources to help. On day 5 my dogs were found because I made the calls I otherwise would have thought pointless. The only thing Harry asked for in return was to let me know if I found them. He followed up with emails during the search and I was grateful he had offered to help. My experience was great.
Ashley T. Everett, WA 4/28/2019 My dog had been missing 12 hours I exhausted all hope posted on every forum had fliers up every where so many man hours on the ground! My husband had thought of search and rescue dogs the night before I honestly expected thousands of dollars and no results. I found Harry online and I emailed the night before he called me back on Sunday and came up 4 hours from Longview to Everett the same day. He brought 2 dogs and a bonus pug. We went to the last known location and he was very professional. The dogs did their job and we hiked up a steep incline forest hill behind a trailer park and found my lil chihuahua huddled in some brush. He was so scared he didn't want to move. I was instructed to move slowly and talk softly if he might bolt my husband went around the back and got him. The dogs sniffed him out with the guidance of Harry! I know we were so very lucky! I know not all people are! I was so relived I never want to let him go! Thanks to The dog team lead by a well trained man got the job that all the work I put in couldn't have done! I couldn't be more thrilled!
Happy family reunion
o Melissa D. San Francisco, CA 4/22/2018 Our dog went missing around 6 pm on a Saturday night. Harry was recommended to us and we called him around 9 pm, and he agreed to come right out with his dogs to help us search, even though he was about an hour away. He arrived asap and got right to work. No nonsense, no time wasted. His dogs picked right up on my dog's smell and were ultimately able to find him deep in the woods behind my house (he'd fallen down a ravine type thing and couldn't get out). Without Harry and his dogs, we would never have found our baby, because you could barely see him, even two feet away because of the thick underbrush and he wasn't making any noise (fear of predators?). It was his dog that found him through smell and I can't thank him enough for his hard work and dedication to finding our boy!Bottom of Form
o TJ J. Bellevue, WA 4/18/2018 I have worked with International K9 Search and Rescue twice. One animal went missing after being "taken" by a neighbor in financial distress looking to sell a Siamese cat quick on Craigslist. Taking to CL to stop the sale of the cat for quick cash prompted the release of the cat, which then led to the recovery of the cat a short distance away from where it was tracked by the dogs. And recovery back to the owner within 24 hours of capture. The cats owner a disabled veteran had a special bond with this cat and was devastated when it went missing and immediately felt there was no hope. Once the SAR team determined the animal was "Alive" it allowed for the owner to not give up the search and rescue and offered "hope" for recovery. And in this case it was a harrowing story to get the cat back but a happy ending. Cats go missing for many reasons, but in this case, Harry's team tracked it to the exact house of the people who took the cat. Within 2 months after the cat theft, these people had been evicted by the Sheriff's office and were forced out of the neighborhood. The point here is that animals are "taken", sold and profited from, attacked by other animals and killed, hit by cars, etc. when left to roam outside. It's the chance you take. The second time Harry was hired the dogs determined a death scent. Coyote scat in the area contained cat fur. Sad ending but closure to knowing the cat was not coming home. My efforts to post info. on my lost cat separate to Harry's work only brought lots of false leads to cats that were not mine, wasted time and frustration in general. I think you have to keep the perspective that "nothing" is a guarantee in search and rescue. Even if you have multiple animals in your house and the scented item for the lost pet has other animal scents on it can throw SAR dogs off the main scent of the lost animal. Many variables go into the work of these animals. It's sad to see so many negative comments and sour grapes when there are "real" people who have gone on to find their pets. If you don't ever want to pay a SAR company, keep animals indoors and on leash equipped with GPS collar trackers for recovery if they get off leash accidently.
Jeff C. Shelton, WA 4/7/2018 Harry was fantastic and provided us with the tools to find our dog. She had been missing for 3 days before we decided to use a tracking service. He was fortunately available so he came out the next day. We know our dog but he knows their behavior in these situations. Great service well worth using. He is honest and well informed. He was very concerned for our lost pet and I believe any post that says otherwise is mistaken.
Vanessa S. Hillsboro, OR 1/13/2018 My partner and I called Harry and his crew out to Hillsboro today to help us find our missing cat. He was very knowledgable and professional, and has years of experience with searching for missing beings. While unfortunately we were unable to find our cat, we did obtain some very valuable information about what could have possibly happened to her and what some next steps are in order to help lead her back home. His price was very reasonable and he was honest with us throughout the search on what his thoughts were. We would definitely recommend his services.
o Carol B. Bend, OR 1/5/2018 I am writing this review in response to a number of less than positive reviews made by people on Yelp. Claims have been made that Harry Oakes takes advantage of people, is a scammer and a fraud. Nothing can be further from the truth!
My experience with International K9 Search and Rescue spans the last several years. Mr. Oakes has assisted me on numerous occasions in finding friends lost pets. His methods are sound and successful. He has never once given me bad advice. To date, all of the pets that I have requested assistance for were located alive! Including my own dog!
Harry has "GIVEN" me invaluable assistance in training my dog. I know for a fact that he donates a great deal of his time and expertise to help others. I am one of those people. I have used his methods successfully!
There is a process to Search and Rescue. The results are not guaranteed. Ever! Mr. Oakes needs specific information unique to each client he serves. Without it, chances of success are diminished.
There have been certain negative claims against Mr. Oakes made by a person on Yelp who lists herself as a certified dog trainer. Upon investigation, I learned that her certification through CDPT-KA was "purchased" from an organization that is not truly recognized. Source: dogtraining.world, access CDPT-KA and draw your own conclusions.
What I will say, is that should either I or any of my family or friends were to become lost, I would want Harry Oakes and any one of his associates looking for me. He is the real deal.
o Doxy T. My experience was amazing. Our cat got out yesterday and we were distraught. Stayed up all night making signs and walking around calling for her. I randomly found Harry online and called without even looking up reviews. He came by a couple hours later and within 15/20 min his dogs Willow and Tyler had tracked my cat down. I was in shock and was so relieved to see my baby again....Its gotta be a hard job, because there is no guarantee that you will get the outcome you are looking for...but I am a total believer and do not doubt the intelligence of animals and a good trainer. Thank you Harry, you truly saved us.
Once you have emailed me your information. Text me at 503-705-0258 and I'll review your case. I'll send you a contract which will need to be completed by pressing Reply and filling in the information. Press Send once completed. Then we'll talk about your case and decide how I can help you, how much the fee will be for travel time, fuel, meals, and search time. Make your deposit here. Once the contract and deposit has been made, I'll respond to come help you.
Here’s is an actual report.
I’ve deleted some personal information to protect the clients. This embarrassed the hell out of the local police agency handling the case as well as the FBI. They conducted 7 searches of the suspect’s property for two missing girls Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis. Jan. through March 2002 and then the FBI went public March 30, 2002, and stated, ”there was nothing to be found on Ward Weavers property”.
On March 15, 2002, We had documented finding 3 different human remains.
Two on the Ward Weaver property and one in an area the police claimed to have searched twice nearby. Behind the Beavercreek Apts in the woods.
Documentation speaks for itself. I’ve been subpoenaed on cases over 10 years old. So make sure you keep good records and accurate notes.
International K-9 Search and Rescue Service
Office of Emergency Management
Longview, Washington 98632 USA
Integrity you can count on - Service you can trust.
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Case: 2002-2146-076(A).
On 03-04-2002 I.K.9.S.A.R.S. was asked to enter the private search efforts for Ashley Pond.
Ashley Pond (Missing Person) DLS: 01-09-2002 DOB 0#-0#-89 Age 13. Height 5'03" 110lbs. Brown hair, brown eyes. Birthmark on right hip. Ashley attended Gardiner Middle School. Shoe size 7-1/2.
Lori Pond (Mother) Lives at ####### Newell Creek Apartments Beavercreek Rd. Oregon City, Oregon 97045. Lori's vehicle: White four-door hardtop, Hyundai Ore. ###-###. Temp P##### Exp 03-26-02.
Gardiner Middle School (Ashley's school). ### Ethel St. Oregon City, Oregon 97045.
Ward Weaver (Friend of Lori's) Lives at #### Beavercreek Rd. Oregon City, Oregon 97045 (503) ###-####.
Miranda Gaddis (Missing Girl) DLS: March 08-2002. Last seen wearing: Black netting blue backpack, blue jeans, tennis shoes, dark blue shirt that said "HURLEY" on it. Miranda attended Gardiner Middle School. Piercing bellybutton, and tongue.
Michelle Duffy (Miranda's Mother) (503) ###-####. Age 34.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. (Support investigative agency).###-####.
Oregon City Police (Initial investigating agency). ###-####.
National Missing Children's locate Center (Portland, Oregon). (503) ###-####. Local missing children's locate center.
Federal Bureau of Investigations (Portland, Oregon). (Lead investigative agency).###-####.
Harry E. Oakes Jr. (SAR Dog Handler / SAR Coordinator).
SAR Dog Valorie K-9-1. SAR Dog Valorie is a 7-1/2 year old, Border collie, Schipperke, and Mutt Mix. Valorie has documented 2053 Missions with 884 documented finds assisted finds of people, pets, suspect identifications, and evidence. Photographs of both can be reviewed in People Magazine Nov. 30, 98 issue page# 61. Numerous finds made in both the Oklahoma City Bombing Disaster 1995, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch struck 1998, and in both of the Turkey Earthquakes in 8/99 and 11/99. Valorie has flown 142 times in cabin, without incident. SAR Dog Valorie is the first search dog ever to be allowed into Jamaica for a search mission.
Michelle Keating Mailing address: PO Box# #####, Portland, Oregon 97294
Email: #####@####### Michelle has performed 61 missions around the world. She has documented finding 49 victims.
SAR Dog Yogi K-9-2. SAR Dog Yogi is a 5-1/2 year old Golden Retriever. Yogi is Michelle's third search dog. Yogi has performed 33 missions finding 49 victims.
03-04-2002 I sent Lori a letter asking her if she wanted I.K.9.S.A.R.S. assistance after the N.M.C.L.C. asked I.K.9.S.A.R.S. to get involved in this case. I had earlier contacted both O.C.P.D. and the F.B.I. and offered our services to them. Both refused as “they were using their own resources and search dog teams and didn’t need any additional help”.
03-06-2002 Wed. I received a telephone call from Lori Pond asking for I.K.9.S.A.R.S. assistance in her private search for her missing daughter. I talked with Ashley's mother Lori over the telephone. I set up a meeting with her at her parent’s house in Ore. City on Thurs. This after FBI and OCPD and OSSA SAR Dog teams went public and stated “they had searched Ward Weavers property and the missing girls were not there”.
03-07-2002 Thurs. Met with Lori and her sister at her apt. Instead of her parent's home. I did initial interview. Had Lori sign I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Services contract. I then collected handwriting samples from Ashley. Photographed apartment, room, exterior entrance & exits. Worked on initial reports. Asked Lori to get her daughter's items from school locker.
03-08-2002 Fri. Worked on reports. Received call from Lori asking me to call her. Calls came in at 2230 and 0030 Sat.
03-09-2001 Sat. 0500Hrs. I called and left a message for Lori to call me back. Media released info. that another girl is missing from the same apartment complex.
03-10-2002 Sun. I obtained scent articles (Pillow case and backpack) belonging to Ashley and I introduced SAR Dog Valorie to these items and stated, "Let's go find Ashely".
Michelle also introduced these same items to her SAR Dog Yogi. SAR Dog Valorie immediately tracked Ashley out of the apartment complex then northeast down over a dirt embankment then south along the row of apartments where I could see someone had spent some time under one of the extended patios.
Then the track led back to the staircase that leads up to the main road. Ward Weavers House. That's where the track ended. (Back of Ward Weaver’s house).
03-15-2002 Fri. 1127Hrs. I arrived at Ward's house and was met at the door by his son Alex. Alex asked me in after I id myself as a private search dog handler from Int. K-9 SAR Services looking for Ashley. Alex called his father Ward on the telephone while Ward was at work. I talked with Ward over the telephone. Ward gave me verbal consent to search his property stating,” Everyone else has been on there. The FBI, OCPD, the County sheriff’s dept. I don’t care just stay away from the concrete slab that he had poured back in Jan. Ward didn't want it messed up”.
I introduced SAR Dog Valorie to Ashley's scent article and SAR Dog Valorie went to the main hallway and indicated a “Death alert” on the carpet inside Wards’ home. SAR Dog Valorie then led me to a lay down large white freezer sitting in Ward’s kitchen. SAR Dog Valorie indicated a death alert at the freezer. I tried to open it and it was locked. When I asked Alex if he had a key to the freezer, Alex became nervous, his face turned white in color and he stuttered ,”My dad’s the only person who has a key to that and there’s nothing in there right now”.
I then took search dog Valorie through the rest of Ward’s house and then through the back sliding glass door over the cement slab behind Wards home. Ward had stated he was putting in a hot tub at this site. SAR Dog Valorie stopped her track of Ashley's scent at the back of the house. Where the grass and cement slab met. SAR Dog Valorie indicated a strong death alert. I knew at this time Ashley was buried under the cement. SAR Dog Valorie also alerted in the rear shed area.
Both the shed and concrete slab area were indications of 12-49 (Human Death Alerts).
There were 5 no-pest-strips loaded with dead flies handing inside the small shed behind Ward’s house. I could see that the inside of the shed had numerous large cardboard boxes and plastic bags inside. I felt some human remains were hidden inside this shed. I backed out of there as I felt this was an active crime scene.
1215Hrs. I made contact with Lori at her apartment and we talked a little more about Lori filing a report with the Nat. Missing Children's Locate Center of Portland, Ore. Did search down in creek. Did interview with AP reporter.
1600hrs. I notified OCPD and the FBI on our findings today by telephone, and faxed report. I asked them to obtain a search warrant based on our findings and recover the bodies we located.
03-17-2002 Sunday. 1430Hrs. I wanted to continue our search to see if there were more victims then just the two that we had already located so I drove to Lori Ponds apartment complex. I introduced SAR Dog Valorie to Ashley's scent articles and Sigma Pseudo scent plus 30. SAR Dog Valorie again alerted in the area NE down towards creek where SAR Dog Valorie gives off major stress - death alerts. A search of the immediate area revealed no new clues.
1615Hrs. SAR Dog Yogi started his track with his handler Michelle Keating at the PLS. I didn't tell Michelle anything about what SAR Dog Valorie had just completed doing as I wanted to see what SAR Dog Yogi would do in his search.
1630Hrs. I photographed SAR Dog Yogi performing his search and stress prob. death alerts NE of the apartment complex down in the creek.
1700Hrs. We drove across Beavercreek rd and searched Fir Ct. next to Fred Meyers. There's a stand of trees on the S side. Both SAR dog Valorie and SAR dog Yogi alerted on coyote feces. I flagged and photographed the site and Michelle collected the sample in a plastic bag. Upon examining the feces I found animal hair, bone fragments and what appeared to be two strands of human hair, long and thin. and what appeared to be suture material. I cleaned and inspected this and then placed it in a paper envelope, sealed it and marked it with my initials and the date.
Michelle Keating signed for custody of the poop and hair, and called the FBI. They didn't want it. Michelle then called other agencies that continued to "Pass the buck" and didn't want the possible evidence. I then took possession of the possible human hair and will turn it in to the Oregon State Med. examiners' office on 03-19-2002. Our search dog teams have repeatedly found human remains in coyote poop. See "Dela Carlson Report Clatsop Co., Ore."
03-20-2002 1400Hrs. In-route to search area. 1454Hrs. Started on the East side of Hwy 213 headed north. Found a dead deer and bird. Val did get one air-scent alert. Winds swirling from canyon on the West side. She ignored the dead deer remains.
1545Hrs. West side of Hwy 213 down over embankment first level of canyon. Val found two HUMAN "Femur" bones. Fresh. These bones were very fresh. I marked the location with flagging, photographed the bones location and then collected them.
1715Hrs. completed search of Hwy 213. East and West Sides. Val still wanted to head North along #213. Found nothing. Turned everything, report on CD, hair, bones, to Oregon City PD Evidence Collection officer. 1800Hrs. completed the search efforts. Turned over my reports to OCPD and the FBI.
Michelle Keating K-9-2 with SAR Dog Yogi.
03-10-2002. After meeting with Lori, James, and Breanna, and introducing the scent articles, Yogi and I searched the apartment complex, concentrating on stairways, garages, dumpster areas. After searching the area, Yogi searched in Lori’s vehicle: White four-door hardtop, Hyundai Ore. ###-###. Yogi first tracked out of the apartment complex then northeast towards a dirt embankment. Since Harry was already following that scent, I took Yogi out to the parking lot and concentrated on searching the garages. Yogi went to several apartment doors along the way. The complex driveway is in a circular shape and we followed the scent up to a stairway leading out of the complex towards Beavercreek road. Yogi stopped midway up and did a strong stress alert and ate grass.
Yogi continued up the stairway through some small woods alongside a parking area and wanted to cross Beavercreek road. We went back into the woods where a lot of garbage has been dumped and a muddy road goes through. Whenever we went to the edge of the embankment, below Ward Weaver’s home, Yogi pulled down towards the complex and did a major stress death alert. We walked back down the stairway and when we went past the apartment buildings closest to the canyon, Yogi went past the buildings towards the canyon. We walked past garages and Yogi didn’t have much interest in them.
03-17-2002.Yogi and I searched the creek area going west. He gave major stress death alerts on a grassy area next to the creek. That was an area where very light winds were swirling. We crossed the creek and went uphill along a dirt (mud) road. Yogi didn’t alert along the road, but kept looking toward the creek. Going back down the road and crossing the creek, we proceeded uphill toward the apt. complex to search the brushy area that had a rain-filled fire pit and evidence of heavy use (packed mud area around the pit, places to sit).
Yogi went to the creek beyond the area, but did not alert. We drove to the area east of and behind Fred Meyer’s. Yogi kept wanting to go back towards Beavercreek road when I asked him to find Ashley, but immediately alerted on some coyote feces that had hair and bone in it. The brushy (fir trees and thick berry vines) area had numerous animal trails and lots of coyote feces.
* One envelope containing animal (coyote) feces, with animal hair, three strands of long human hair, one strand of suture cord.
* Attached Photos on disc. of I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Search dogs searching and giving death alerts in creek bed.
*Harry Oakes and Michelle Keating’s training, testing, and work documentation record.
(Note) I put this in our reports to show credibility. So when the Deputy DA’s office reads this case file they know whom they are dealing with.
*Search Dog Valorie’s and Search dog Yogi's training, testing, and work documentation record.
*SAR Dog Valorie documented finding 10 victims dead in the Oklahoma City Bombing. (Check your own FBI records on this report).
*SAR Dog Yogi and SAR Dog Valorie documented finding 25 victims dead in the mud, rubble, and structure collapses, in Honduras after Hurricane Mitch struck. (Check with the Tegucigalpa Fire Dept Commander). *SAR Dog Valorie documented finding 71 victims dead and 14 victims buried alive in both of the 1999 Turkey Earthquakes. (Check with the Turkish American Conciliate and military on this report).
*Oregon Department of Justice 1997 Audit of Mr. Oakes files show that his record keeping is 100% accurate.
*Miami Office of the FBI established Mr. Oakes' credibility before using his search dog services in Jamaica on the Claudia Kirshoch case. During the actual search in Jamaica, the Miami's FBI's office forensics team established that "After SAR Dog Valorie alerted on a suspect's vehicle, they found hair and fibers belonging to Claudia Kirshoch. Establishing credibility to SAR Dog Valorie's alerts. Senior FBI Agent Mike Bonner witnessed Val's alerts and track.
*Clark Co. District Attorney's Office Vancouver, Washington established Mr. Oakes as an expert witness in a court of law regarding scent, scent evidence and training, testing, and working search dogs on crime scenes. (State of Washington, Clark County VS. K. Beeson Case. (Kidnapping Charges).
*Copies of Search Warrants issued in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oregon, Washington, Ohio, and Jamaica, based on Harry’s search dogs and scent evidence available upon request.
Strongly suggest Police to re-interview Ward ref: the alerts SAR Dog Valorie is giving on the cemented area behind Wards house and the shed area. Bring in ground penetrating radar and search the cement slab for human remains buried under the slab.
I feel Ashley is buried under the slab. As we had Ashley’s scent article and my dog alerted where the ground and slab made contact with each other.
Search the lay-down freezer inside Ward’s kitchen for Miranda. Also search the nearby shed behind Ward’s house. Why anyone would put 5 no pest strips in the shed and why all the flies would be attracted to this shed unless there was decomposing tissue inside.
Get the FBI agents off the highways with the missing kids photos and put them to work doing field interviews with all of the street kids in Eugene, Portland, Salem, along the Oregon and California coast looking for any possible witnesses.
If the police establish that a tip might be highly probable, send a search dog to the (sighting) area of the missing kids and see if the dog alerts and establishes a track. If it does, then this is a confirmed sighting. If it doesn't then the police would be wasting their money, efforts, and time working on this lead.
Pull the phone records of the home and cellular services for incoming and outgoing calls from both Ashley and the other missing child, their parent’s records and interview the callers.
If the poop is determined to have human hair inside, perform DNA to see if it belongs to either of the missing girls. If it is established that any of the hair does belong to one of the missing kids, then call us and we'll go back in and find the remains. Especially since all the State Certified SAR dog teams couldn't find anything.
Identify the third body (human remains) hair and human femurs we located behind Beaver creek apts.
For More information go to www.k9sardog.com
Mr. Harry E. Oakes Jr. K-9-1.
International K-9 Search and Rescue Handler Instructor. BPST# 9863.
International K-9 Search and Rescue Service
Integrity you can count on - Service you can trust.
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Case: 2002-2146-076(A).
Facts:I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Teams are certified as K-9 Dog handlers through self-certification, testing under NASAR and FEMA standards. We test each dog team/ handler yearly. Following the same guidelines as 191 other SAR dog teams do in the USA. Testing for live tracking, trailing, air scenting, cadaver, avalanche, urban SAR, suspect id., scent discrimination, and water.
These standards for N.A.S.A.R. and F.E.M.A. were written back in 1989. We assisted F.E.M.A. and N.A.S.A.R. in writing some of these standards. Our testing and SAR results have repeatedly held up in court, and I am considered an expert witness in the courtroom regarding scent, scent evidence, training, testing search dogs and their handlers. (Beeson-Clark Co. Washington).
We are not Oregon State K-9 SAR Certified and don't wish to be. Some of the testers are extremely dishonest, and we've totally discredited their testing. (See Turkey 1999 earthquake reports).
We are one of the most successful search dog teams in the USA in all aspects of K-9 SAR. (finding people and pets). We often find victim's (Humans), when state Cert. SAR Dogs from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Cal. couldn't. (See attached credibility lists). Often in the same areas where they have searched. Twice their dogs were within 10 feet of the victim. Many of the State K9 SAR dog teams have proven themselves as incompetent and not very capable.
(Example Search on Mt. Bachelor for the missing snow boarder instructor. They searched for 10 days. The victim was found dead in a tree well, 300 feet away from the PLS. barely covered by snow). The manager of Mt Bachelor repeatedly asked me to come in and help on this search. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s office SAR Coordinator repeatedly refused our offers to assist for free on this search.
This would have been an air scent search that should have taken skilled teams less than 1 hour to locate the victim. After a week one of the ski patrollers got a call from the public that they found her dead in a tree well 300 feet from where she was last seen. The SAR Deputy was fired after this incident. Finally, some accountability for their actions.
The last four subjects that State Cert. search dog’s teams have looked for they have failed to find and other civilians in the search area later found the victims. (Snow boarder, Alzheimer patient in Gresham, Oregon) are some examples.
SAR Dog Handler / Coordinator I.K.9.S.A.R.S.
International K-9 Search and Rescue Service
Integrity you can count on - Service you can trust.
I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Case: 2002-2146-076(A).
To: Chief of Police, Oregon City, Oregon.
Ref: Ashley Pond Private search efforts by I.K.9.S.A.R.S.
Sir, on 03-04-2002 I sent Lori a letter asking her if she wanted I.K.9.S.A.R.S. assistance in her search effort for Ashley Pond. Since we have an overall 99% success rate at locating missing and runaway children, it was I.K.9.S.A.R.S. purpose to provide a private search resource to Lori and her family, in an attempt to locate Ashley.
At no time have we knowingly interfered with your agencies investigation or search efforts. Since your agency has not shared with us any of its investigation information, we have no way of knowing where your agency is going nor do we care, as it doesn't affect our private search efforts. We have purposely kept out of your officer’s way so as not to interfere.
Lori's stepfather informed me that your detective stated, "I.K.9.S.A.R.S. was interfering with their investigation". We do not appreciate your detective informing the family that we have interfered with your agencies investigation since this is an untrue statement.
Fact: We didn't even offer our search efforts nor did we enter the private search efforts until your agency had completed its initial investigation and search with your own resources and according to your press release officer had found no leads. Your agency went public “asking for the public’s help in finding the missing child”.
Fact: If you look at our success rate compared to your department’s success rate at locating and returning missing kids, we have a much higher success rate. (reports on file for review).
On 03-06-2002 I.K.9.S.A.R.S. was asked to enter the private search efforts for Ashley Pond by her mother Lori. On 03-07-2002, I met with Lori and her sister at her apt. I did my initial private search and rescue interview with Lori. I asked Lori to sign an I.K.9.S.A.R.S. Services contract, which she did. I then collected handwriting samples from Ashley. Photographed apartment, room, exterior entrance & exits.(This after your agency detectives had already been through Ashley's room and processed the scene).
I then worked on my initial reports. All items taken for examination for our search were returned to Lori Pond in a white plastic bag the next day. Two items were kept with Lori's consent for scent articles. One blue backpack and one pillow case.
We've kept a low profile and have not spoken to the media for any reason regarding this search except to answer a question by one report from the AP as to "Who we were". At no time have we represented that we were a part of the Law Enforcement efforts nor have we informed the media of what our findings have been.
On 03-17-2002 Sunday Search dog Yogi handled by Michelle Keating found coyote feces with what appeared to be two strands of human hair and some animal hair and bone fragments. I then took possession of what appeared to be human hair and on 03-20-2002 1715Hrs. These items were photographed and turned over to your property officer after the FBI stated, "they didn't want it".
On 04-01-2002 we received a letter asking I.K.9.S.A.R.S. to return the scent articles belonging to Ashley to your department. On 04-02-2002 the items were returned as requested.
We would appreciate knowing if the Femur and Tibia bones found by SAR dog Valorie or the human hair found by SAR Dog Yogi belong to either of the missing girls.
In the future if you desire to have a professional experienced search dog team assist your agency in missing person(s) cases, we would be glad to donate our services as we've done for the FBI and numerous other agencies with quite a bit of documented success.
Respectfully Mr. Harry E. Oakes Jr.
(SAR Dog Handler / SAR Coordinator).
1-cc- Attorney Charles Ringo.
1-cc- Oregon City P.D.
1-cc- Portland office FBI.
Email sent to OCPD and Portland office of the FBI by Harry Oakes.
Sardogk91@aol.com Wed, 14 Aug 2002 06:18:30 -0700 (PDT)
Received: Wed,14 Aug 2002 06:18:30 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 06:18:54 -0700
Subject: In regards to the search for Miranda G and Ashley Pond in Oregon City.
Why haven't you obtained a search warrant and dug up the back yard of
Specifically where my search dog and another search dog gave a "Death
alert" right behind Wards home where he laid fresh cement "Right after
Ashley Pond disappeared?.
This was all in our report to OCPD. If nothing else, get ground-penetrating radar and examine this specific area for skeleton remains.
International K-9 SAR Services.
Notes: Aug. 25, 2002 The FBI went in with Ground Penetrating radar and located Ashley Pond’s buried remains where my search dog Valorie had located her. In their investigation Ward admitted that he and his son had wrapped Ashley in a shower curtain, put her inside a plastic 55 gallon drum, and buried her four feet deep. Covered the area with gasoline to hide the scent. Poured concrete on top of the burial site. All this was done in Jan. 2002. That SAR Miranda had been in the lay down freezer and then moved to the shed where SAR Dog Valorie had located her remains in the shed.
Ward denied knowing anything about the third body. Police refused to release any information on whose remains it was. The remains located by SAR Dog Valorie and Yogi during our searches. As you can well have guessed by now OCPD and the FBI were extremely embarrassed after they recovered the three victim’s remains. This proved we were 100% accurate and credible. That the OSSA SAR Dog Tester whose’ initials are M.N. was a total FRAUD. And the OSSA SAR Dog teams had failed miserably in their repeated search of Ward’s property.
To: Oregon State Sheriff's Association
Oregon Department of Justice
The Oregon FBI Office.
Oregon Dept of Emergency Management.
Ref: Oregon State Search Dog Certification, Search One K-9 Detection Team, M### N######
I am asking the Oregon State Search Dog Council, The Oregon State Sheriff's Association, Oregon's Dept of emergency management, and the Oregon DOJ, to investigate M N's and the OSSA SAR Dog teams, claims of certification and qualifications for the following reasons.
· It's report by the media and through the various sheriff's departments that M N and, or his team members have gone into search areas and found nothing on numerous occasions. Repeatedly we've been called in privately regarding the same searches, and we have found the victim(s) dead in the Oregon State Certified Search dog handler's original search area. (Refer to our attached summary of cases.) The OSSA Cert. Search dog handlers have proven to be a liability to search efforts using their dog teams.
Lane Co. K-9 SAR and Search One K-9 Detection among other NON PROFIT Oregon Teams are accepting non-profit funding and grants under the pretense that they can perform search and rescue activities as they claim. When in fact they have proven again that they are not credible in the least.
We feel that the OSSA dog teams that have worked on the Ashley Pond - Miranda Gaddis search, misled top police officials to include the district attorney, the FBI and OCPD, by telling them Ashley Pond’s scent was not under the slab behind Ward Weaver's home.
· With their statements regarding their findings or lack thereof, the State Certified" SAR dog handlers, proved to the world the OSSA SAR Dog Certification and testers, their lack of any credibility. With the repeated searches of the concrete slab in back of Ward Weavers rented home, with the repeated claims by Certified dog teams that there was,” nobody underneath this slab”, those that performed the searches brought disgrace to all search dogs and their handlers who have proved not credible consistently.
We are also requesting an investigation into why the OSSA certified SAR dog team members failed to find Ashley Pond’s remains. They were unable to find the remains and instead of supporting other efforts to solve this case, they criticized our abilities. Continued political bad-mouthing by MN on the Lars Larson radio talk show, KXL radio and to other Law Enforcement agencies, obstructed any possibility of positive search action, resulting from our finds.
When the FBI dug up Ashley Pond's remains where my search dog Valorie and I tracked them in March of 2002, my expertise was proven again. There is no law enforcement agency in the world that can no longer deny my credibility and "Certification" to finding live and dead people.
This isn't the first time this has happened. I have attached a summary of some of the cases we have solved when Search One has completed their search and found nothing. As well, we've frequently obtained search warrants based on our search dogs’ findings. We are truly puzzled as to why a search warrant was not issued in response to our dogs’ findings on Ward Weaver’s property. Especially since we've been successful recently with the FBI Miami Office and in the past with the Oklahoma Office.
Here's a documented list of some of our (Oakes’ and his teams’) findings of scent evidence and findings of missing people when others are unable to find them. Following the listing are some letters from families for whom we’ve found their loved ones. For a more complete listing of our cases, refer to our website http://www.k9sardog.com/searches.htm.a
Our credibility continues to hold up in the courtroom where it really counts. District Attorney's, judges, and others involved in issuing search warrants and granting admissibility in the court room my testimony as an Expert Witness regarding scent, scent evidence, search dog training, testing and documented finds continues to speak for itself.
Oregon Law enforcement obtained a huge "BLACK EYE" because they believed in listening persons who over the last three years have proven they are all talk and not credible. Instead of investigating who really is credible, we who have consistently provided results all over the world on live and dead missing person since 1997. With each search we document the Who, What, When, Why, and How as we've done since 1986 when we first started working in K-9 SAR.
Oregon Law enforcement needs to protect itself from the dog handlers who have recently showed they can't do their jobs. Credibility isn't in the testing, it isn't in the training, and it’s in the final results that speak for themselves. All the other stuff can be tampered with and manipulated at the price of human life. We have proof, which will hold up in the courtroom that this has been done. Results speak for themselves.
The OSSA Cert dog teams have been an embarrassment in this last 20 searches, the last reported searches being for a missing 2 year old on Mt Hood two weeks ago where the child’s family had to find the child as the searchers failed to do so. And the snow boarder, which the SAR teams couldn’t find 300 feet away from the point last, seen on Mt Bachelor dead in a tree well.
I am now demanding the OSSA and the state of Oregon DEM, give handlers Harry Oakes and Michelle Keating, with their search dogs, state SAR Dog certification recognition under our own international certification process which we've followed since 1989.
This after proving to the members of the OSSA, the District Attorney and the FBI and OCPD, and the general public, that we are more than able to locate both live and dead victims, perform area searches, respond to disasters, and find live and dead human victims and identify suspects through scent evidence.
Please don't let another human life be lost to the politics and egos that we've seen recently.
If nothing else, give the families of the missing person(s) a list of private resources they can turn to when your OSSA teams have failed to find their loved ones. And, don't kick out the private teams off of their search efforts when we prove more productive and obtain results after your teams can't.
NOTE: Whenever we are brought in by Law Enforcement agencies, we've never ever performed any press releases without their expressed approval of what information was to be released.
We know how to work as team members. Something it appears your law enforcement folks need to learn.
Mr. Harry E. Oakes Jr.