Donate to the Karelian Bear Dog Program

The KBD Program is 100% supported by private donations.

The public may donate to the Karelian Bear Dog Program, by sending check or money order to:

16018 Mill Creek Blvd
Mill Creek WA 98012

State of Washington employees may donate through the Combined Fund Drive.

Karelian Bear Dog Program


Meet the Karelian Bear Dogs

Close-up of black bear in tree
Two Karelian Bear Dogs barking at a treed black bear. Cash & Indy treed this bear in the backcountry for a bear research project.  Thanks to them, no traps were required for this capture.


Cash was born February 9, 2006, and is stationed in Wenatchee with handler and WDFW Bear & Cougar Specialist Rich Beausoleil. Cash works throughout Washington State and has done an incredible amount of work with biologists and wildlife officers. He assists in both research and management activities and has helped capture cougars and bears statewide. Some of these captured animals were outfitted with GPS radio collars, the data from which is providing WDFW with valuable management information. Cash also has helped to safely capture orphaned cougar cubs and orphaned bear cubs, all of which were successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild or sent to AZA-accredited zoos where they can be appreciated by millions of people.

Relocation and aversive conditioning of captured animals that are involved in human conflict is one of Cash’s specialties. Because he is fiercely protective of people (not just his handler), and barks and chases bear and cougar at release locations in the mountains, Cash helps make these animals wary of people and dogs. This teaches these animals to stay away from people and avoid conflict. Cash also assists in tracking free-ranging animals that aren’t captured, and haze them back into the woods. In rare cases, Cash has even helped haze moose out of town and bighorn sheep off the highway so they aren’t involved in vehicle collisions.

Cash participates in education efforts by attending fairs, festivals, and visiting schools. Like all Karelian bear dogs in WDFW and the Wind River Bear Institute’s Partners in Life program, Cash is incredibly friendly and loves children. He is known to provide licks and kisses to complete strangers, which makes him a crowd favorite at the events. People who attend these gatherings to learn about living with bear and cougar in Washington always say that Cash and the other Karelian bear dogs are what they remember most from the events. That’s a powerful bear and cougar education tool!

Cash loves his job, continuing to protect wildlife and everyday making his handler better at what he does.  Thanks to Martha Jordan, biologist and lifelong wildlife advocate, for her generous donation that helped bring Cash to WDFW.  Thanks also to Carrie Hunt and the Wind River Bear Institute for developing the KBD program and for their continued partnership.



Two Karelian Bear dogs sniffing at a tranqulized black bear laying on a tarp.
Cash & Indy checking out a research captured bear while it was still sleeping.  KBDs know when to turn it on and off.
Three Karelian Bear dogs sitting and facing the camera.
Three generations of champion bear dogs.  From left to right, Cash (born 2006), Indy (2011), and Mishka (2003).
Two Karelian Bear dogs in stream by small waterfall.
Simple things like waterfalls are good training for Cash & Indy and help build confidence.

Two Karelian Bear dogs on the rear jump seats of a truck with door open.
Cash & Indy prepared to go to work.  The eyes tell the story.

A Karelian Bear dog laying in grass facing the camera.
Cash relaxing… but almost as if he’s asking if we are going to work.  Handsome.
Three Karelian Bear dogs trotting down two track mountain road.
Cash, Indy and Colter on patrol in the backcountry.

Two bear dogs and enforcement officers hard releasing a black bear from a culvert trap.Here’s Cash (left) and Colter (right) on a hard release of a bear.  Giving the bear a head start before releasing dogs keeps it moving further from the release site.

Three Karelian bear dogs and enforcement officers hard releasing a black bear from a culvert trap.
Indy (left), Cash (middle) and Savu during an onsite release of a bear.  Doing on-site releases allows the bear to stay within its home range and the process educates the landowner on why the bear was there in the first place so they can remove the food attractants (garbage, bird seed, fruit trees).