Ojai Valley News photo by Tim Dewar
Search Dog Foundation employee Celeste Matesevac looks over packing boxes being filled for the group’s move to Santa Paula.
Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
One of Ojai's best-known nonprofit organizations is leaving town — but it's not going too far. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is in the process of relocating to a new facility in the hills above Santa Paula.
“We'll be leaving before the end of June,” said Wilma Melville, who founded the emergency canine training service two decades ago. “What better way to celebrate our 20-year anniversary than with a new home?”
Still, the move would be bittersweet. “We got a good, solid start here,” she said. “I wish I could climb up on the clock tower at the post office with a loudspeaker and say, 'Thank you, Ojai — you've been great. Please come visit us in Wheeler Canyon.'”