About Us


Chris Melville

Chris and Kai in the field

Chris and his now retired K9 pal Kai are certified in wilderness area search and volunteer for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, and were formerly members of the Monterey County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team as well. Chris is currently working as Treasurer on the Board of Directors.

Chris is actively involved in Technical Rescue and Swiftwater rescue. Chris and Kai are both NASAR SARTECH II certified, and Chris is a Rope Rescue Technician II and a Swiftwater Rescue Technician/Advanced.

Chris's interests include emergency and wilderness medicine (he is a nationally registered Wilderness EMT), SCUBA, hiking, and teaching NASAR classes on SAR.

Ashley McClung

  Ashley's description is pending

Susanne Martin and Erroin Martin

Susanne Martin, MD trained and certified her first Dutch Decoy Dog in Wilderness SAR and disaster SAR in Munich, Germany, in 2001. They participated as a mission-ready team for years in local searches. She is currently certified with her 5-yr old Kooikerhondje Amica in wilderness area SAR with MBSD, and she and Erroin are training their 7-yr old Kooiker dog Toni in Human Remains Detection with MBSD.

Susanne is a Board Certified Internal Medicine physician and completed her fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Stanford University. She is planning to undergo further training in Wilderness Medicine.

Both enjoy the outdoors and traveling with their Kooikers.

Pat O'Connell

Pat and Max

  Pat and his Lab Max are certified in wilderness area search. Pat is also currently MBSD's President on the Board of   Directors.

Miranda Olson

Miranda and her canine partner Marcy are certified in Human Remains Detection and volunteer for the Monterey County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team.

Miranda got involved in SAR in 2005 when training and certifying her first dog, Izzy (retired), in Wilderness Area Search. Over the years her training has included technical rope rescue, swift water, helicopter safety, and first responder.

Miranda's interests include back country backpacking, running, and training her dogs.

Serena Bliss

Serena has always actively participated in volunteering, especially with dogs! She has raised four guide dog puppies for the blind through 4-H starting at the age of 12. She worked as a dog sled guide in WY for a year, combined with working as a park ranger for the forest service and park service for six years around various spots in the U.S.

Serena is a board member with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office search and rescue team, and has volunteered with them for five years. She has been with MBSD now for a little over two years, and is training her adorable Catahoula/Queensland mix, Emmie, in Human Remains Detection (HRD).

Johnny Subia

Johnny's description is pending

Kate Davern

Kate's description is pending

Gabriella Fontana

Gabby joined the team in 2012, without a dog, and has been helping others train their dogs ever since. She is presently the Secretary on the Board of Directors. She is planning to work with a dog of her own in the near future.

In her spare time, Gabby enjoys working with her horse, rock climbing, mountain biking, and reading. 

Jeannie Alexander

Jeannie and Shadow

Jeannie is training her dog Shadow in Human Remains Detection. Jeannie is a Nurse and loves working in Emergency Medicine and Labor and Delivery. She has been with Big Sur Fire for over 15 years and is the Medical Captain for her Department. She also volunteers for the Monterey County Sheriffs Search and Rescue team. She is certified in cliff rescue, swift water rescue, firefighting, and hazmat. She is a practicing EMT, CPR instructor, and teaches an EMT class at Monterey Peninsula College.

Jeannie lives on a ranch in Big Sur with her family, where she enjoys hiking, gardening, bee keeping, and taking care of the many animals on the ranch. When away from the ranch she enjoys traveling, scuba diving with her kids, and long quiet walks on the beach with her k9 partner, Shadow.


Dr. Pat Grant

Dr. Grant has been a team member of the California Task Force 3 Urban Search and Rescue since its inception in 1991. She has deployed as a FEMA Type 1 Canine Team with her partner Topper to the Oklahoma City Bombing in April 1995 and to the World Trade Center in September 2001. She was also the veterinarian on the Incident Support Team for the Columbia Shuttle Recovery Mission in February of 2003. In addition to her team activities with search and as a canine coordinator, Dr. Grant is a rostered DHS/FEMA CSSCP Evaluator, the certification process for search dogs. She also teaches as a subject matter expert in the Medical Specialist Course given to medics and doctors, teaching them to care for their canine charges.

Dr. Grant received her veterinary degree from Texas A&M University in 1984. She is also a charter member of the Monterey Bay Search Dogs since its inception in 1984, and she works part time at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

Read Topper's Story.

Chantal Rose

Chantal has 13 years of Search & Rescue experience in both wilderness and urban settings. Chantal is the Training Director for Monterey Bay Search Dogs and has served as the Canine Coordinator for both California Task Force 3 (CATF3) and the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office SAR Team.  In addition to being a certified K9 handler, she is an Instructor for Mar-Ken International, a P.O.S.T. Evaluator, and an OES Search Manager. Chantal also regularly contributes to the community as a Hug-A-Tree Presenter.

Chantal's training includes Rescue Systems 1, Wilderness First Responder/CPR, and NIMS 700-800.

Steve Hilts

Steve has been a member of Monterey Bay Search Dogs since 2002. He and his K9 partner Daisy (retired) are a FEMA certified disaster Search and Rescue team and member of California Task Force 3 (CATF3); they deployed with the Task Force to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ernesto in 2006, and most recently, to Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Steve also volunteers for the Red Cross as a member of their Disaster Action Team and as an Emergency Response Vehicle Driver. He deployed with the Red Cross to Hurricane Dean and the San Diego fires, both in 2007.

Steve loves being outdoors, and enjoys Ocean Kayaking, rock & ice climbing, mountain biking, long distance running, hiking and swimming, and Yoga. He is a nationally Registered EMT-B and an Advanced SCUBA Diver.