Search and rescue dog relocates to Sequim, enjoys respite at pet resort

Ranch owner expresses awe at canine’s ability to track scents

By Ashley Miller

Sequim Gazette Staff Writer

A celebrity moved to Sequim recently and was able to sneak under the radar of the paparazzi. Until now, that is. Chile, a 5-year-old bloodhound, is known for his ability to fi nd missing or lost people. The 145-pound canine doesn’t need high-tech gadgets or any other technology to do his job, only his nose. An Arizona and Washington state certifi ed search and rescue dog, Chile holds multiple “man trailing” titles from the American and Canadian Bloodhound clubs, is a member of the Northwest Bloodhounds Search and Rescue group in Pierce County and has participated in more than a dozen searches, including one where the docile, highly-trained animal led rescue workers to a missing 8-year-old boy who wandered away from a campsite. Chile is a guest at Dungeness Ranch Pet Resort, located in Sequim, while his owners, Sheri and Tim Whetstine, are traveling on vacation. “Chile is one of our most important guests here at the resort,” said Kelli Chen, president and founder of the high-security boarding and grooming facility. “As you can imagine, the Whetstines wanted to be absolutely sure that we had the expertise and qualifi cations to properly care for Chile. I am honored that they entrusted us with this huge responsibility.” A well-known animal enthusiast and doglover, Chen is trained to care for search and rescue and police dogs. She routinely sends Chile on practice fi nds — playing a game of hide-and-seek that is both fun for the staff and benefi cial to the dog — to keep the animal “on his game.” Chen walks in circles, around build

Kelli Chen, owner of Dungeness Ranch Pet Resort, cares for Chile, a 5-year-old, 145-pound bloodhound trained in search and rescue. Dogs, Chen said, experience work-related stress much like humans and can benefit from the relaxing experience of staying at a pet resort while owners are out of town. Photo by Ashley Miller