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Those who have gone before

As a team, we are not just the humans and K-9s here, now. Dogs we have trained, teammates who have passed, they are also an important part of ISART for they have made us who we are today. 


We are forever grateful for the K-9 partners who worked alongside us and helped us grow as handlers. We also miss the men and women who trained with us and taught us, enabling us to serve our communities to the best of our abilities.



Rob McKinney
Rob Memorial.png

On Feb. 1, 2020 K-9 handler and ground searcher Rob McKinney collapsed in his home after arriving from training. 


A member of ISART for about five years, Rob and his wife Lou, co-handled live-find K-9 Bodie. Rob obtained his NASAR SARTech II, and he and K-9 Bodie certified with the International Police Work Dog Association in both live-find and article search.

His smile, his wonderful sense of humor and his constant banter with his teammates kept every training session entertaining. A straight-shooter, Rob was quick with support and to jump into help. He was looking forward to starting a new puppy in the upcoming months, to train as Bodie's successor.

Rob is survived by his wife, Lou, an inactive member of ISART, and their four adult children and grandchildren.

We miss him every day.

Bob Newton

ISART handler Bob Newton passed away Nov. 5, 2018 after battling a lengthy illness. His constant presence, gentle spirit, and quick smile brought us all great joy. There was nothing he couldn't fix, no dog who didn't adore him, and no person he wouldn't help. 

Bob joined ISART in 2013 with his Welsh Corgi, Isaac. The two certified in trailing, and in 2015 located a missing child in a DeKalb County cornfield.  K-9 Isaac passed away in early 2017. 

In November 2017, ISART presented Bob with a new Corgi puppy. He named the puppy Fig, and the two were well on their way to a trailing certification when Bob died.

Bob is survived by his brother, Mick, an ISART affiliate as the Noble County EMA director. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews, his teammates, and his K-9 Fig.

Fig now lives with ISART CEO Jan Harkner-Abbs and continues his training.

Garry Hammer and Aeros

Paramedic and ISART member Garry Hammer died in the line of duty on Jan. 31, 2014 after suffering a heart attack after a shift with the LaGrange County EMS.

He kept his teammates' medical skills sharp, and entertained all with his sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Pam, a former member of ISART, five children and a whole bunch of grandkids.

His HRD K-9 Aeros passed away from cancer a few months later. Aeros started out with Jan Harkner-Abbs and was given to Garry when he started working with search dogs.

Our K-9 Partners


EOW:  1998 

SchH 3, AD, SAR Live Find and Human Remains Detection

 Handler:  Jan Harkner-Abbs



BH, SAR Human Remains Detection  Handler:  Jan Harkner-Abbs



SchH 2, SAR Live Find (FEMA USAR)

Handler:  Jan Harkner-Abbs



SAR Live find

Handler:  Jason Fuhrman 



SAR Live find

Handler:  Mark Thompson



SAR Trailing

Handler:  Karen Karrer



SchH3, FH1 SAR Live Find

Handler:  Terri Skidgel Reiff


EOW: January 2017

SAR Trailing

Handler:  Bob Newton


EOW: August 2017

SAR Trailing

Handler:  Ed Ralston


EOW: December 2017


Handler:  Jan Harkner-Abbs


EOW: December 2017

SAR Trailing

Handler:  Karen Karrer


EOW: June 2018

SAR HRD in-training

Handler:  Lynnette Swineheart



EOW: October 2018

SAR Live-find

Handler:  Jan Harkner-Abbs

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