Pennington County Search And Rescue Explain Conditions In Search For Serenity Dennard


9-year-old Serenity Dennard has now been missing for five days. This weekend, specially trained dogs from Iowa along with other dogs in the area will head out to continue recovery efforts. While the search has been scaled back, earlier this week crews spent three cold days in the hilly terrain looking for Serenity. 

Pennington County Search and Rescue was just one of the agencies helping in the search for 9-year-old Serenity Dennard. Members from the all-volunteer team made their way out Sunday afternoon.

“This is really hilly terrain, right now it’s really slick, there was freezing rain the day we got there so everything was immediately slick and hard to navigate,” Pennington County Search and Rescue, Rick Lehmann said.

Not only did they use technology and GPS to search, but also trained dogs.

“We have a tracking, trailing dog, we also have an air scenting dog and then some of the neighboring search and rescue have dogs we put out,” Lehmann said.

However the cold conditions in this area took a toll on the searchers and the animals.

“Unlike a person, they can’t tell you when something is wrong, you have to watch for indications that their feet are getting froze and things like that,” Lehmann said.

Pennington County Search and Rescue plans to join in on the recovery efforts this weekend.

“Hoping the weather is good enough this weekend to get some more dogs, we will use different types of dogs at this point and hopefully we can get the mission accomplished,” Lehmann said.

KELOLAND News also reached out to the Black Hills Children’s Home Society and they sent us a statement:

“Our hearts hold out hope for the safe return of a wonderful little girl. At this time, we ask that you keep Serenity, her family, and all who love her in your prayers. We are grateful for the efforts of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and all those who continue to search for Serenity in these difficult winter conditions. We pray for their safety as well.  We again ask that, if anyone has seen Serenity, they should call the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at 605-394-6115 or 911 immediately. The well-being of the children we are blessed to serve sits at the center of everything we do as an organization.”

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