Man’s best friend joins the search for Will Cierzan

Volunteer from Search Dogs 24/7 Lori Wells, left, handles search dog Piglet for the camera as SCV Emergency Now volunteer Kari Dauer-Hewitt, right, assists with the search for Will Cierzan on San Francisquito Canyon Road and Lady Linda Lane on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

A furry friend joined the efforts of community members to aid in the search of Will Cierzan, who has now been missing for two months.

“We are ferociously determined and extremely hopeful,” said Kari Dauer-Hewitt, who had helped organize various searches for the missing man as well as an active administrator for the SCV Emergency Now Facebook page.

Multiple volunteers with SCV Emergency Now, as well as the Angeles Off-Road Search and Recovery Team, have been looking for Cierzan for the past six weeks.

On Saturday, volunteers from Search Dogs 24/7 joined the search party and checked various spots along San Francisquito Canyon Road and other nearby areas.

Volunteers continue to organize a search for Will Cierzan along San Francisquito Canyon and Lady Linda Lane on Sunday for the camera. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“We’ve got our volunteers who are continually searching for Mr. Cierzan and we feel like having these dogs in the field are tremendously beneficial to this search operation,” Hewitt said.

A few dogs were brought by the group, but only one dog, a Catahoula Leopard Dog named Piglet, joined the search along with 20 other volunteers.

“We as handlers need to be as trained and skilled as the dogs,” said Lori Wells, Vice President of Search Dogs 24/7.

Piglet, a Catahoula Leopard Dog, aided in the search for Will Cierzan on San Francisquito Canyon Road and Lady Linda Lane on Sunday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

The group, based in La Habra, responds to various missing person calls and will assist in searches in Western States like California, Arizona and Nevada.

“We’ve been contacted by community members, families, law enforcement, anyone who feels like they need additional help that these search dogs can give them,” Wells said.

Recent searches hosted by SCV Emergency Now have been open to the public, but due to the search dog’s scent sensitivity, Hewitt explained that a smaller group for Saturday’s effort would be more effective.

“We will be out here and continue to organize as the need arises until we find Mr. Cierzan,” Hewitt said.

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