Courageous Canines: Shannon Sharpe goes behind-the-lines with the heroic rescue dogs that keep us safe

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Shannon Sharpe visits the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in Santa Paula, CA to go behind-the-lines and learn what makes these incredible dogs tick. From 9/11, to Katrina, to the Montecito Mudslides, these are more than just Man's Best Friend: they are the guardians who protect us when we need them the most.

[MUSIC PLAYING] JASON DOBBINS: These dogs, their drive is always there. They're just ready to go at all times.

SONJA HERITAGE: You never know what the call's going to be. Who could think World Trade? Who could think Oklahoma? They are ready at any time, for anything. And they live for it.

SHANNON SHARPE: When you think of search and rescue, first responders, you're not really thinking about canines.

- We're trained in different levels. We can use tools. We can use different things to try to locate people. But it's going to take time, versus these dogs. They're finding within seconds. If there's people that need to be found, the dog is the best tool for them.

- Ready? Go find it. Good girl.

SHANNON SHARPE: Where we're doing this interview at is actually a training facility. Can you tell me a little bit about the foundation and what you do here?

- What we do is, we find dogs in shelters that have the athleticism and the hunt drive to do this type of work. We train them, we train handlers, and we pair them up. And they go to work for task forces all across the country.

Go on. Wait. Easy. Good girl.

- I was lucky enough to be brought to the Search Dog Foundation and paid with my dog, Cajun. They're with us 24/7. Our bond is unbreakable.

Thatta boy, buddy. Good job, Cajun. Good job, buddy. What do you got here?

I don't have other dogs. I don't have children. Cajun. Is my son. I wouldn't change it for the world.

- Hi, buddy.

- A state of emergency declared--

- Deadly fires in northern California--

- The death toll rising--

- --brought in 20 different dog teams.

- What are some of the major deployments the Search Dog Foundation has been a part of?

- 9/11, Katrina, earthquakes in Haiti, Mexico, Japan. All over, you know. They stay busy.

- When you guys got the call-- the deployment, you were going up to Montecito, the mudslides and what had transpired up there-- what's going on in your head?

JOSH FLORES: For me, it's such a jaw-dropping experience. I was not expecting such a large devastation.

JASON DOBBINS: We went out and started searching homes immediately. Those families-- seeing these search dogs out there, it just gives them that little bit of hope that we're doing everything we can to find their family members.


You tell me how to be brave.


- These dogs go from being rescued to being rescuers, from being not wanted to being needed.

- It's pretty deep.

- Yes.

- It is. I mean, we see these dogs come in. They won't even give eye contact to anybody. They're like-- they've been running the streets.

And by the time they leave here, heads up high, they know who they are. And it's just-- the change of that is incredible.

[MUSIC PLAYING] You tell me how to be brave.

JOSH FLORES: Cajun was rescued and now rescuing people and saving lives.

- And Search Dog Foundation stepped in, found her, and now look at her. She's trained to save lives and reunite them back to their family. And it's pretty awesome.


You tell me how to be--