Faces in the Crowd: Tiana Shuster and her search dog, Tango

Tiana and Tango have been on many searches since they moved here from Brookings seven years ago, and we send them a big thank you for all they do!

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A good boy with an important job – to find missing people.

“Tango was a very annoying dog at six months old and needed a job,” says Tiana Shuster, Pennington County Search and Rescue volunteer.

Meet Tiana Shuster and her Australian Shepherd search dog, Tango.

Tiana And Tango With Sar Vehicle

Tiana Schuster and search dog, Tango

They’re volunteers with Pennington County Search and Rescue,  and spend their free time training – so they’re ready when the call comes in.

They do search drills, endurance training, and obedience in order to prepare for emergency calls.

“We train every week and we keep up his stamina. We hike a lot so that he has his endurance so I have my endurance, because I have to keep up with him too,” Shuster says.

You’ve likely seen them in action this summer, where Tango was deployed in separate missing hiker incidents – successfully locating the individuals both times.

Shuster says, “These two…we happened to be called at the right time and were able to get going and started fast enough that we actually were able to find them before anyone else did.”

While Tango may not always make the final find – his assistance is useful – with his sense of smell unmatched.

“I love that he loves to use his nose and that he is so good with it,” Shuster says.

When they’re not training or out on a call, Tiana works as a lab tech here in Rapid City, and says all her PTO goes into Tango and the search team.

“People ask me ‘When are you going on vacation?’ I’m not – I train a dog,” Shuster says.

Pennington County Search and Rescue is staffed by volunteers like Tiana – dedicated to their mission.

Shuster adds, “We are volunteers, but we do get paid in loving what we do.”

Sacrificing time and money so that others may live.

Tiana and Tango have been on many searches since they moved here from Brookings seven years ago, and we send them a big thank you for all they do!

For more information on Pennington County Search and Rescue, including a link to donate, click here.

Categories: Faces in the Crowd, Local News