Here are 5 reasons why anyone involved with dogs or cats should be trained in Lost Pet Recovery:
1. Each year, millions of dogs and cats become lost. Knowing what to do should a dog or cat escape could mean the difference between life and death for that animal.
Intersection Alert Signs Used on Bitsy Case
2. The only thing worse that losing your dog or cat is losing SOMEONE ELSE’S dog or cat! Pet industry workers (pet sitters, dog walkers, veterinarians, dog trainers, rescue group volunteers, etc.) should all be educated in what are the most effective lost pet recovery methods.
3. Dogs and cats are like apples and oranges: they behave differently when lost, travel different distances when lost, and the people who see or find them react differently when they find these two different species. The methods that should be used to search for a missing dog are VERY different than those used to search for a lost cat! Knowing these principles will help you increase your chances of finding a missing pet when it happens.
4. Even the most responsible guardians and caretakers have dogs and cats that escape from their care. Blaming missing / stray pets on “irresponsible” pet owners is actually an act of ignorance! Pets escape due to homes burglarized, roll over traffic accidents, skittish dogs pulling out of their collars, gates being left open by construction crews, etc.
5. Lost pets not found by their families typically end up in animal shelters, rescue groups, foster homes, feral cat colonies, self adopted, or living on the streets. The FIRST location where the pet owner is searching (the local animal shelter) is typically the LAST location where someone will take a found dog or cat (due to the fear of euthanasia). Thus knowing how and where to search for a missing pet is critical!
In addition to my upcoming 10-week on-line (webinar) Missing Animal Response course (next class starts Mon Oct 6th), I offer abbreviated (6-week) training courses for dog and cat rescuers. If interested in being trained, visit my webiste “TRAINING” page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kat & Dogs
Life purpose. Have you found yours?
I found my life purpose back in 1997 when I realized that the world needed pet detectives. I was a police officer at the time and I loved my job. But after having successfully trained my retired cadaver dog, Rachel, to track down lost dogs and cats, I realized God had a new plan for my life that did not involve writing speeding tickets! Soon my vision was not just to find lost pets with my dog, but I wanted instead to train other people (and their dogs) to become pet detectives. I ultimately launched an on-line course where I train pet detectives (in a 10-week course), I give seminars at animal shelters, and I even offer an abbreviated (6-week) course for cat and dog rescue volunteers. But as much as I love training, I love inspiring others!
That brings me to talking about being a fire starter. Being a fire starter means that you ignite something in others. But to do this, you must be willing to take risks. You must be willing to go against the grain, paint outside of the lines, plow new ground, be laughed at and mocked, encounter naysayers and deal with jealous enemies, break the rules (without breaking the law), follow your passion while respecting others, live life to the fullest, and be willing to be used to ignite hope and speak life to others. Being a fire starter for God means that you surrender your life to Him, believe His Word, and trust that He will guide you and provide for you, especially when the going gets tough. The picture above is a prophetic snap shot of what God showed me He wants to do through me. He wants to use my passion for helping people and animals to be ignited in the hearts of others.
For so many years I’ve walked with God and yet I left Him out of my writing. I knew that I was writing to an audience that loves animals and did not necessarily believe in God. I guess I didn’t want to “offend” anyone. If you look at my blog you’ll notice that I’ve only blogged once in the past year. That’s because I just couldn’t figure out how to blog without God when He is so central to my life. So although I will continue to blog about animal stories, I will also blog about God-related things. And I won’t try to be politically correct and NOT say the name Jesus. There, I said it. Jesus…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! After all, He is my all in all and leaving Him out of my stories would be, well, like trying to light a fire without a match! In addition to animal stories and God stories, my blog will also include stories about and for children and teens. That’s because God has called my husband Johnny and I to start Mercy Paws, a ministry that will inspire children and young adults to help families who’ve lost a pet.
Life involves a series of choices. I’ve decided that I will no longer leave God out of my blog.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days.” Deuteronomy 30:19
Kat & Dogs
How do you measure love? Last week, my husband and I euthanized our bloodhound Zeke who fought a long battle with lymphoma. What has surprised me is that I have not felt this level of grief in sometime. Although I had euthanized two of my other pets over the past two years, my grief over those losses just did not rise to the level of what I’ve experienced this week. To the point where I now truly understand when people say that they “love” dogs or cats but just can’t get another one because the loss and pain they felt when that pet died was just “too hard.”
Zeke was a working dog, one I had trained for Missing Pet Partnership to track the scent of lost dogs. You can watch a video here at one of our MPP K9 training sessions where I worked Zeke. Although I only used Zeke on just a few cases (he was forced into early retirement), he captivated my heart and lived out his happy life as an incredible friend. In fact, the novel (Bloodhound Love) that I’m preparing to sell is based mostly on Zeke and his characteristics. It had become my goal to see Bloodhound Love published while Zeke was still alive. Sometimes we never reach our goals. And that’s the point of my blog today–to encourage those of you who’ve set goals and dreamed dreams that were never reached.
God knows your heart. He knows your thoughts, your dreams, and your passions. Psalm 139:13-14 puts it this way: “You formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother’s womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works. And my soul knows it very well.” God created me with a passion for dogs and cats. Years ago, back when I was still a police bloodhound handler who spent nearly all of my “off duty” hours in training my police bloodhounds, I began to feel like I was not living my life as a “good Christian” probably should. While people from my church were out praying for the sick and feeding the poor, I was out running behind bloodhounds. I finally came to the place where I said, “God, if you would rather that I give up my bloodhounds and stop focusing on tracking work, I’m willing to give them up for You. I just want you to use my life for Your glory.” What is amazing is that just a few months after I prayed that prayer, my life dramatically changed. In the spring of 1996, my police bloodhound A.J. dug out from my yard and was lost in the woods. I used another search-and-rescue dog to track him down and I had my “ah ha” moment–that dogs could and should be trained to find lost pets. That incident was what set the course of my life on fire for developing what was to ultimately become Missing Pet Partnership and most recently, my new pet detective training academy, K-9 Pet Trackers. In His great Mercy, God changed the trajectory of my life so that I not only continued to work my bloodhounds (and my cadaver dog, Rachel) but I was able to start a new career as a pet detective. This work ultimately led to my switching my focus from ME being one of only 2 other pet detectives out there (this was in early 1997) to my focus on training many, many other people and their dogs to offer pet detective services.
A double blow for me this month has been that in addition to the pain of losing Zeke, there’s now a financial crisis looming in the wings. Because of the recession, our stability at MPP has been threatened by a recent slowdown in financial support. Some of you receive this newsletter because at one time you lost a dog or cat and you contacted Missing Pet Partnership for help, so you’ve experienced the pain of losing (and perhaps never finding) a pet that you loved. Some of you reading this blog have already made a recent donation to Missing Pet Partnership and I am SO thankful for that. But for those of you who haven’t donated recently, I encourage you to make a tax deductible donation “In memory of Zeke” thus supporting the mission of MPP (which to reunite lost companion animals with their owners/guardians). You can either snail mail a donation check to “Missing Pet Partnership, P.O. Box 3085, Federal Way, WA 98063″ or you can use the PayPal button on the top of the MPP homepage here. Even a small gift adds up and would be greatly appreciated.
Me and Zeke (1 month before he was gone)
THANK YOU for supporting my dream and the memory of Zeke. I am deeply sad that Zeke won’t be alive when Bloodhound Love is ultimately published. But the great news is that he lives within my heart and in my memories. I know that some day (when I can afford it!) it will be time to bring a new dog into my life again, creating new joy, new laughter, and new trailing stories to tell. For now I will continue on my quest to get Zeke’s (fictional) story published. Sometimes it takes losing someone special in your life to kick you into gear!