About Matthew Zarrella
Matthew Zarrella has been involved in
Search & Rescue K-9 training since 1991. He served as a K-9 trainer
for the Rhode Island State Police and developed their first search and rescue K-9
program. During Matt's tenure as a Rhode
Island State Trooper, he handled a total of (6) canines in various scent disciplines to include human remains detection, wilderness, disaster live, disaster cadaver,
water search, trailing, explosives detection and article Search. Matthew has also trained numerous canines in the aformentioned search and rescue disciplines for law enforcement, the fire service and volunteers as well. Matthew created the first K-9 Search
& Rescue standards for the Rhode Island State Police and the State of Rhode
schools, seminars and workshops and consults with law enforcement agencies on
missing persons cases. Matthew 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. Matthew 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.
Matthew started Task
Force II, Rhode Island's first all volunteer Search & Rescue Dog
Program. TF-2 is a team of teams consisting of various K-9
and ground search teams whose mission is to assist the Rhode Island State
Police on missing persons searches state-wide.
Matthew forumlated the first K-9 Disaster Search Team for Rhode Island's Urban Search and Rescue team. Many of these K-9 teams went on to become certified in various levels of proficiency to include Light Disaster, Type II and Type I Live and Human Remains Detection Disaster Search.
Matthew is a volunteer search
manager for the State of Rhode Island and a Master Trainer for the
International Police Work Dog Association (IPWDA) in Search & Rescue. Matt also trained and handled an explosive detection canine for the last two years of his canine career.