ChesCo Search Dogs

Lisa Parviskhan, DO, is part of a team as a family physician at Penn Primary Care and Integrative Medicine Whiteland in Exton, PA but in her spare time, she and her German Sheppard Jessie are a team all their own. They are more than companions, they are helpers and heroes. Dr. Parviskhan and Jessie are a part of the volunteer-run non-profit called ChesCo Search Dogs.  ChesCo, founded in 2014, provides professional and highly skilled searchers and K-9 resources to law enforcement agencies, fire departments and all state and national agencies at no cost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The team assists in missing and lost persons, and human remains detection and includes 15-20 members.

Dr. Parviskhan discovered ChesCo Search Dogs when she was searching online for volunteer opportunities. She was looking for something that would allow her to spend more time in nature and help others. When she discovered this group, she knew right away that it was exactly what she was looking for and allowed her to indulge her love of dogs. Additionally, she gets to spend quality time with her own dog, Jessie, a German Shepard, and watch her work which is an amazing experience. 

Dr. Parviskhan adopted Jessie three years ago from the Pittsburgh area and began training. Many of the dogs begin training as puppies. It helps develop their drive and to develop the proper social skills. In addition to the search training, Jessie went through behavior training earning her Advanced Canine Good Citizen certificate and could operate as a Therapy dog with a little more training.

The ChesCo group trains on the weekends at various locations around the state from the mountains regions to abandoned buildings. They do mock search and rescues with volunteers hiding as the mock victims.  The handlers also receive leadership and emergency readiness training. During the mock searches, the dogs will locate the victims and then return to the handlers guiding to guide them to the volunteer in need.  Real searches could span an area of several miles.

Agencies have called on ChesCo for 3-4 cases over the last year. They cover Chester and Delaware County and will travel into New Jersey and the Pocono mountains. Dr. Parviskhan recalls a rescue operation in the Pocono mountains for a lost biker. The dogs were able to find the victim who had fallen into an area nearly impossible to search by humans. Without the dogs, the victim may have gone unfound.

On another rescue, a gentleman went missing in Delaware County. The man thought he was in Maryland. He was diabetic without his insulin and his cell phone died.  His wife reported him missing. The group was called by the local authorities to help. They were able to recover the man's remains and get him back to his wife.

Dr. Parviskhan is a proud DO and a proud member of ChesCo. She encourages everyone to seek out their local rescue groups to volunteer time or resources. Many of these group, like ChesCo, rely on the community for support and funding.

“It is an honor to work with such dedicated people and such an amazing K-9,” says Dr. Parviskhan.

Thank you, Dr. Parviskhan and Jessie, for all you do and for being a DO DOing More. 

Thank you, Dr. Parviskhan and Jessie, for all you do and for being a DO DOing More.