A rescue dog called Matt has retired from being on call for the Isle of Man Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA).

Search and rescue dogs who are on call provide 24/7 assistance with searching for missing people.

A spokesperson for SARDA said: ‘During Matt’s tenure, he was deployed on an incredible 52 jobs, some lasting over three days.

‘His dedication and skills even earned him recognition from the Chief Constable for saving a life and reuniting loved ones.

‘With three article finds under his belt, Matt’s contributions to the Search and Rescue Dogs Association Isle of Man have been truly remarkable.’

The spokesperson added: ‘We would like to highlight a special moment that took place in honour of Matt and his handler, Marc Marshall. Marc was presented with a beautifully framed message, a photo of Matt, and his search dog tag.

‘This gesture, made by Jim MacGregor, serves as a token of appreciation for all that Marc and Matt have done during their time on the callout list and is a tradition of SARDA to all our retired dogs and handlers.

‘We cannot emphasise enough the significance of Marc’s unwavering commitment, training, and guidance, which played an integral role in Matt’s success.

‘The framed message, photo, and search dog tag serve as a tangible reminder of their shared journey and the impact they’ve had on the lives of countless individuals.’

Matt is one of two search and rescue dogs retiring, which leaves only one working search and rescue dog, Ruby.

Whilst four dogs are currently being trained SARDA are looking to train more rescue dogs.

Jim MacGregor, the handler of Ruby and chairman of SARDA IOM told Manx Radio: ‘The real focus at the moment is trying to get more dogs on the callout list, because when I am away, there are pressures then, because I need to let the police know that no one is available.

‘If we can get more dogs on the callout then we can start offering 24/7 coverage for the island again.

Training a search dog usually takes about two to three years from a new puppy to qualified search dog.

Mr Macgregor added: ‘We have had numerous breeds as search and rescue dogs, we have had lurchers, Ruby is a wirehead pointer, the four in training are collies. Collies have got that great balance between intelligence and really good agility, but quite a wide range of dogs have been successful in the past as rescue dogs.

You can contact the charity on [email protected]