American Patriot K9 Training

Matthew T. Zarrella (401) 226-1631

Matthew Zarrella with his K-9's Eva & Maximus


About Matthew Zarrella

Matthew Zarrella is a 24 year veteran with the Rhode Island State Police and has been involved in Search & Rescue and K9 training since 1991.  He is also a K9 trainer for the Rhode Island State Police and developed their first search and rescue K9 program.  During Matt's tenure as a Rhode Island trooper, he has handled and trained K9 teams in human remains detection, wilderness, disaster, water, trailing, and article Search.  Matt created the first Canine Search & Rescue standards for the Rhode Island State Police and the State of Rhode Island.   

 Matt conducts schools, seminars and workshops and consults with law enforcement agencies on missing persons cases.  Matt has conducted missing person's searches for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as the United States Peace Corps, and the United States Military.  Matt has traveled to different parts of the world to work on cases with his canines looking for missing persons and military personnel still listed as missing in action.  He has conducted searches in various parts of the United States and in the countries of Vietnam, Columbia, and Bolivia.

Matt started Task Force II, Rhode Island's first all volunteer Search & Rescue Dog Program.  TF-2 is a team of teams consisting of various, all volunteer K9 and ground search teams whose mission is to assist the Rhode Island State Police on missing persons searches state-wide. 

Matt started Rhode Island's first K9 Disaster Search Team (USAR) and trained some of the first K9's to become certified in Type I Disaster Search.

Matt is a search manager for the State of Rhode Island and a Master Trainer for the International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA) in Search & Rescue and currently handles an explosive detection canine.


Matthew and his astonishing career is the subject of a documentary film in progress, entitled RELIANCE.  Please visit the film's website!