Pinal County Sheriff's Office:
PCSO Search and Rescue Posse:
Sonoran Search and Rescue:
Who Is Sonoran Search and Rescue?
On January 1, 1996, Sonoran Search and Rescue was formed as a not-for-profit, volunteer search and rescue organization, affiliated with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department. The team was founded by SAR K9 handlers; Cindy Harris, Marla Villa and Louis Villa. This website is dedicated to the original 3 K9’s who were instrumental in the formation of Sonoran Search and Rescue; Donner, Liebe and Rainy. It was through them that we established a level of excellence and dedication that we continuously strive to maintain.
Since the team's inception, members have strived to fulfill the unit’s mission; ‘To establish and maintain a well trained team to capably search for lost, stranded or injured persons, render first aid and perform such tasks within it’s capabilities; to give aid and assistance to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, or any other requesting agency, during a time of crisis; and to preserve human life at all times’.
Members of the Sonoran Search and Rescue team function as a tight-knit, versatile team of volunteers. The unit specializes in providing a highly effective Man-Tracking and K9 Search and Rescue resource for the citizens of Pinal County and the State of Arizona. Team members are skilled in wilderness first aid, orienteering and land navigation, technical rescue, desert survival and have attained certification as NASAR SAR Tech II Rescue Technicians. These skills enable team members to safely and efficiently search for overdue hikers, individuals who may have encountered wilderness related problems or those who may have wandered away due to physical, emotional or diminished mental capacities.
Members of Sonoran Search and Rescue have responded to requests for assistance from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, Gila River Indian Nation, Tohono O’Odham Indian Nation, FBI, INS, Arizona Department of Emergency Services and various sheriff’s departments from throughout the state of Arizona.
In addition to search and rescue services, members of the team also perform visits to schools, libraries and various organizations, giving talks on outdoor survival and introducing individuals to the world of Search and Rescue.
In January of 2001, Sonoran Search and Rescue was incorporated as a non-profit organization and was granted it’s 501c3 status by the Internal Revenue Service on April 06, 2001.
Sonoran Search and Rescue is a team of dedicated ‘Volunteer Search and Rescue Professionals’, who enjoy volunteering their time ‘That Others May Live’.
Where Did the Name Come From?
Sonoran Search and Rescue derived it's name from the Sonoran Desert region of the southwest United States. The Sonoran Desert is an arid region, covering approximately 120,000 miles in southwest Arizona, southeast California and northern Mexico. This is the hottest of our North American deserts. Temperatures can range from 110°F or higher during the summer to below freezing during winter nights.
The Sonoran Desert contains a variety of unique plants and animals. It is home to 60 mammal species, 350 bird species, 20 amphibian species, 100+ reptile species, 30 native fish species and more than 2000 native plant species, including the majestic Saguaro Cactus. The Sonoran Desert is also home to over 6 million people.
To those hearty enough to meet the challenges, the Sonoran Desert offers a unique beauty and a chance to enjoy it's many areas of recreation. Unfortunately, many individuals fail to properly prepare for their trip into this unique environment. Most of our searches, rescues or recoveries are for individuals who failed to take enough water or supplies with them for a trip into the desert. If you are going to go into the desert it is recommended that you take a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person, per day if you are not planning on much physical activity. If you are planning on participating in any physical activity this amount should be tripled.
The Sonoran Desert is a beautiful and biologically diverse area. Unfortunately, it can also be unforgiving and dangerous.