This lost pet tracking dog is a cat.
This may be the first cat ever trained as a lost cat finder. Henry loves his job, from sniffing out lost kitties to riding in the truck.
When I first I trained to be a pet detective, I wanted a trained lost pet K9 tracking Bloodhound, so I could find missing cats and dogs--even horses who'd escaped into the hills.
But something happened to change my plan in 2008: I lost my own cat, Mister Purr.
That's when I experienced firsthand how it feels to have a lost cat and practically zero support. I realized how desperately actual scientific lost cat recovery methods were needed.
Yes, there are pet detectives who track missing dogs in several states. But cats need special techniques. And their owners need at least as much if not more emotional support than the dog owners get.
After reading a study about the tiny number of cats found by K9 tracking dogs, I realized a bloodhound was not the solution it seemed.
No cat in his right mind would let a dog walk up to him. For a cat stuck in a shed, yes, but anyone with a flashlight and ears can find a lost cat trapped in a shed.
So one day, at an outdoor adoption event in Austin Texas, I met Henry. He was wearing a purple harness, lounging on a grassy knoll watching people and dogs and kids stroll by and greet him. He was a perfect combination of fearless and curious.
I started training him on New Year's Day, 2014 to follow a trail. He took to it so fast, it seemed as he'd been waiting for this job during the two years he spent in the Lifelong Friends animal shelter.
Now, Henry is an official Search Cat who rescues lost cats. He's also a very friendly funny cat who makes me laugh every day.
Say hello to Henry!