Kat Albrecht, our PROBUS July 8 speaker, kept her audience spellbound with the story of her evolution from California police officer, trained in Search and Rescue, to VanIsle (Nanaimo) resident whose mission now is to form a nationwide team of mainly volunteer “Junior Pet Detectives”. Kat’s career came about through a series of events which meshed with her own training and abilities: When her beloved bloodhound, AJ, went missing she realized that, in spite of her own dedication to finding missing persons with the police force, there was no actual agency to help her find her missing pet. She recruited two friends to help her find AJ and from there things started to unfold. Knowing that a dog can be trained to find any scent, and by studying lost pet behaviour Kat began to turn her “Pipe Dream” into reality. Some serious downturns along the way (an injury that forced her to leave her police job, the death of her precious dog, Rachel, and also of her cat) and finally the events of 9/11 caused her to give up hope for a while. But then in Dec.2001, she was asked to help locate a missing cat, just the catalyst she needed to get her back on track.
Having trained over 250 others, Kat is now a leading authority on training others to find lost pets. She has incorporated methods often used in the tracking of humans: infrared cameras, amplified listening devices and drones but has developed her own twist to relate to pet tracking primarily by studying animal behaviour.
Over the years Kathy Albrecht became a remarkably successful police-officer-turned-investigative pet detective. If you know of anyone who is interested in helping Kat with her community-based program, she is currently looking for help in several ways: for board members, for her organization to reach a charity status and with recruiting volunteers to develop community-based lost pet services and founding the NGO Missing Pet Partnership.