Animal Clinic of Kalispell - July 2019




Search and Rescue with Dr. Corum

Hey, everyone!

In addition to going out and finding people, having Johnnie also lets me do a lot of community outreach and get kids involved. I hope to work with schools and teach kids about wilderness safely and preparedness. What happens often is that many people will go out into the wilderness unprepared, break down, get lost, and find themselves in trouble. Most people end up in areas where a car can’t come get them. With training, I can respond however we can get there — snowmobile, ATV, helicopter, jetboat, or on horseback, with Johnnie riding along with me. It’s serious work, and it’s satisfying to know I’m able to give back to my community in such a meaningful way. I’ve only lived in Kalispell for a short while, but I already feel like I have a duty to look out for everyone, which I enjoy.

Dr. Corum here. A few months ago, I got a new puppy, Johnnie. He’s a Treeing Walker Coonhound I’m training to do tracking during search and rescue missions. Working with a dog is a whole deeper level for search and rescue, and it’s something I’m really interested in pursuing. Working dogs have always been fascinating to me, and it’s exciting to be training my own dog to work and help people who are in trouble. Johnnie has his own article inside the newsletter, so I’d like to spend some time on what search and rescue demands. I volunteer with North Valley Search and Rescue, a nonprofit organization that works with the Flathead

If you know how lost people act, it can really cut down on tracking time.

County Sheriff’s Office to find people who have gone missing in the northeastern half of Flathead County. I’ve wanted to do something like this for years, though I never had the time between being a veterinarian and a mom. To be honest, I still don’t really have the time, but I’m really excited to be part of North Valley Search and Rescue. Early this past spring, I went on a weekend training course on surviving in the woods. There may be times when you find someone but the helicopter can’t come out

I’m also really trying to get my daughter involved. She’s too young to volunteer, but she enjoys looking at maps, figuring out directions and solving problems — clearly a trait she’s inherited from me. I love mapping and land navigation, both for use on land and for aviation, which are both involved in NV SAR. Search and rescue clicks with a lot of my skills and lets me put my interests to a good use.

North Valley Search and Rescue is an incredible organization that really looks out for the community. If you want to learn more about them, check out their website at And if you’re planning to spend some time in the great Montana wilderness this summer, make sure have plenty of gear. Trust me, it’s always better to be overprepared.

until the next day. You need to be able to take care of the person you rescued, take care of yourself, and not endanger your teammates. It was an intense experience and honestly just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been taking more classes, learning not just how to track and survive in the wilderness, but also the psychology of being lost. A child who gets lost will act totally different than an adult with dementia who is lost. If you know how certain types of lost people act, it can really cut down on tracking time.

—Dr. China Corum 406.755.6886


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