Kathy "Kat" Albrecht is a former police bloodhound handler, crime scene investigator, search-and-rescue manager, and police-officer-turned-investigative pet detective. Since 1997, Kat has solved lost pet investigations by using law enforcement-based techniques and strategies that are normally used to solve lost person investigations. What began as an "experiment" to see whether or not her search dog Rachel could be trained to track lost pets, quickly led to other discoveries. Kat use high-tech equipment such as infrared cameras, amplified listening-devices, and search cameras. She pioneered the use of "search probability theory" and deductive reasoning for missing cats and Feline Behavioral Profiling, a system of predicting patterns of feline behavior similar to how FBI profiles criminal behavior.
Kat discovered that behavior is a critical barrier to the recovery of lost pets and has identified predictable patterns of behavior in lost pets such as "The Silence Factor," "The Threshold Phenomenon," and "The Lost Pet Triad." Kat’s memoir Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective tells the inspirational story of her struggle to make the risky and unusual career change from police detective to pet detective.
Kat was not the first person to train a dog to track lost pets, but she was the first to pioneer the proper application of search dogs for lost pet investigations. This is based on Kat's understanding of search-and-rescue dog applications and protocols. Kat determined that cat detection dogs should be used to conduct what is called an "area search" of a cat's territory for lost cats and "trailing dogs" trained in scent discrimination trailing should be used to follow (track) the scent trail of lost dogs. She also incorporated the collection and analysis of physical evidence to solve cases, such as using a DNA test on a cat whisker to solve one lost cat investigation and a forensic anthropologist to solve another. She identified "high probability evidence," such as the accumulation of cat hair fibers on objects that often indicate where a lost cat is likely to be found.
Read the article Bloodhounds and Scent Evidence by Officer Kathy “Kat” Albrecht
Kat and her search dogs have appeared on NBC Nightly News, CNN Financial News, EXTRA, To Tell the Truth, Animal Planet's show Must Love Cats, K-9 to Five, Miracle Pets, Dogs with Jobs, Pets: Part of the Family, Breed All About It and in the pages of People Magazine, Parade, Reader's Digest, and Woman's World.
In 1997 when Kat first came up with the idea to develop lost pet services, a friend told her she was "having a pipe dream" if she thought she could make a living as a pet detective. Kat's vision immediately expanded from a small business concept to developing lost pet services worldwide. In spite of struggles and setbacks, Kat has pursued her dream. She is the founder of Missing Pet Partnership, a national nonprofit organization that manages the first-ever pet detective academy, that trains and certifies Missing Animal Response Technicians and search dogs to track lost pets. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband Johnny, her dogs Zeke and Kody, and her two "target cats" Cheeto and Myron.