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Mammoth Mountain's Official Rescue Dog Team
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Eastside K-9 is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was formed in 2004 to provide avalanche rescue dogs in case of person(s) buried in an avalanche. Eastside K-9 also provides backcountry safety education on the dangers of traveling in avalanche terrain.

Eastside K-9 works closely with the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA), National Search Dog Alliance (NSDA), Wasatch Backcountry Rescue (WBR), and Tahoe Dogs (PCSOTDT)  to validate and attend training programs for the teams. The organization strives to always have at least four ready-to-respond teams trained to the highest standards in the world of Avalanche Rescue.


The avalanche dog program is funded and managed entirely through Eastside K-9 and is a separate entity from Mammoth Mountain.  This allows the dogs to serve the community at large and to be available for backcountry searches.

Group photo of our pack on the snow


  • When does a dog start training and how long does it take for him/her to be certified?
    Puppies typically start obedience training at 8-10 weeks. More beginning search driven trainings are worked in overtime. Dogs and handlers typically take a validation and certify at about 2 years old. The dog handler team will re-validate every two years. Dogs can work anywhere form eight to twelve years before retiring to enjoy the retired life with our Alumni Association. They still love to come to work and feel like part of the team.
  • Where can I get Eastside K-9 plush toys?
    Mammoth Mountain has created plush toys in each of the dogs likeness for purchase at mountain retail venues. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the Eastside K-9 program.
  • Who owns the dogs?
    In the Eastside K-9 program, handlers own and care for their dogs directly. In most cases each dog is with their handler 24/7.
  • How are my donations to Eastside K-9 utilized?
    As a non-profit, all donations go towards supporting our handlers, dogs, and program. Annual veterinary allowance for each dog Gear Allowance Funding for emergency vet costs Travel and course costs for specialized training Purchase of new dogs
  • How can I support Eastside K-9?
    Donate via this website. Purchase Eastside K9 gear through our online shop. Visit the Ski Patrol Office and Main Lodge or Canyon Lodge to purchase seasonal merchandise - shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, hats and more! Attend an Eastside K-9 Fundraiser to donate or purchase Eastside K-9 retail items. Purchase K9 Plush Toys and any Ski Patrol apparel from Mammoth Mountain retail venues and a portion of proceeds goes to Eastside K-9.
  • What does the training for these dogs involve?
    Training for the dogs varies from day to day. Some examples include: Obedience training Scent recovery training Live search burials Helicopter training Gondola & chair evacuation trainings Dog travel training - including skiing, toboggans & snowmobiles Group & individual trainings
  • If I see the dogs out on the resort, may I pet him/her?
    When the dogs are at Mammoth Mountain, they are working. Whether the dogs are getting off the lift, skiing with their handler, running a search drill, or walking around the base, please be respectful. Yelling the dog's name, barking, or distracting the dog on the slopes or from a chair lift is inappropriate. If you see a dog and want to ask the handler if you can say hello, please take off your skis or snowboard before you approach. The edge of a ski or board can cut a dog so severely that it can end their career.




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