The best books on lost dog recovery

Who am I?

Kat Albrecht-Thiessen is a police detective-turned-pet detective and is the founder / director of the Missing Animal Response Network (MARN). Since 1997, Kat has worked search dogs trained to find lost pets. She is widely known as the leading authority on lost pet recovery training. Kat is a regular speaker at animal welfare conferences. She and her search dogs have appeared on Animal Planet and articles about her work have appeared in People, Reader’s Digest, Parade and many other publications. In 2005, Kat launched the first-ever pet detective academy and since that time has trained over 800 volunteer and professional pet detectives from across the world.

I wrote...

Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective

By Kat Albrecht,

Book cover of Pet Tracker: The Amazing Story of Rachel the K-9 Pet Detective

What is my book about?

Pet Tracker is the remarkable story of Kat Albrecht, the nation’s first police detective-turned- pet detective. Her pioneering experiences are astonishing, revealing, and time-tested lost pet recovery methods that could one day help you, too.

Disillusioned by a police career where her bloodhound-tracking techniques and brilliant search dogs rarely got a chance to shine, Kat started training her retired Weimaraner, Rachel, to search for lost pets—with unbelievable results. To the amazement of her colleagues, Kat decided to make her unconventional use of search dogs a full-time career, in spite of being mocked and told she was “having a pipe dream” if she thought she could make a living as a pet detective.

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The books I picked & why

Red Dog Rising

By Jeff Schettler,

Book cover of Red Dog Rising

Why did I love this book?

I love stories about dogs! I selected Red Dog Rising because the topic of training and using bloodhounds to track criminals and missing persons is near and dear to my heart. I actually know the author and helped him to train the bloodhound Ronin featured in the book. But the primary reason I suggest the book is that it is well written. You feel like you’re following the author, a police officer, and his bloodhound as they track dangerous criminals. Although the book isn’t about lost dog recovery, the method the author used to train his bloodhound Ronin is the same method I’ve used to train dogs to track lost pets. If you love dogs and have any interest in scent training, this book is for you!

By Jeff Schettler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Dog Rising as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ronin was a modern police bloodhound who worked the streets of California hunting criminals and missing persons for 10 years. He was the first full-time municipal police bloodhound in the state of California. What can I write about my bloodhound, Ronin without giving away too much of the book? That is really a good question. I have to write just enough to get you interested, I suppose. So let’s see…hmmmm… Well, Ronin was a Bloodhound and uncommon one at that. His real AKC name was Bo’s Mongo Dog. I got him at about 11 weeks of age from Susanville, CA,…

Book cover of Cormac: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing

Why did I love this book?

This is a well-written story about a dog named Cormac, a Golden Retriever, who went missing from his home due to fireworks and the extensive search his guardian made in his attempts to recover his best friend. The owner following leads that came in and how he recovered his dog are an amazing read.

By Sonny Brewer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cormac as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cormac -- a dark-red Golden Retriever who has always been afraid of thunderstorms and lightning flashes -- runs away one stormy night while his master is away. So begins a strange adventure that lands Cormac in the back of a red pick-up truck driven by a mysterious woman, takes him to a series of dog pounds and rescue shelters, and ultimately brings him to the suburbs of Connecticut. Meanwhile, his owner, devastated and trying to juggle his family and his new novel, becomes determined to solve the "dog-napping" case, watching his small-town community come together in search of his lost…

Book cover of Poppy in the Wild: A Lost Dog, Fifteen Hundred Acres of Wilderness, and the Dogged Determination that Brought Her Home

Why did I love this book?

This dog story is one that kept me on the edge of my seat! I recommend it because it is well written as well as educational. It shows just how stressful losing a beloved pet can be and the desperation by family members to find their lost dog. The book details how a skittish little Beagle named Poppy escaped from his home in Southern California and how his guardian, a volunteer rescuer, received help from other lost dog rescuers that ultimately helped her to capture the scared little dog.

By Teresa J. Rhyne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poppy in the Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the #1 New York TImes bestselling author of The Dog Lived (And So WIll I) comes a tale of love and devotion defying all the odds.

After losing her beloved beagle Daphne to lymphoma, author Teresa Rhyne launches herself into fostering other dogs in need, including Poppy, a small, frightened beagle rescued from the China dog meat trade. The elation of rescue quickly turns to hysteria when Poppy breaks free from a potential adopter during a torrential thunderstorm and disappears into a rugged, mountainous, 1,500 acre wilderness park, bordered by a busy road.

In the quest to find Poppy,…

Book cover of Bring Jade Home: The True Story of a Dog Lost in Yellowstone

Why did I love this book?

This is a great book about a dog named Jade who was involved in a roll-over car crash in the wilderness near Yellowstone Park. It’s an emotional and very interesting read as you learn what this desperate family had to go through to recover their lost dog, a task made all the more difficult because they (husband and wife) were injured in the car crash and because Jade was skittish and ran from anyone who tried to help her. In spite of grizzly bears, other predators, frigid nights, and potential starvation, the family managed to recruit local volunteers who ultimately helped them capture their dog.

By Michelle Caffrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bring Jade Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagine your dog, suddenly lost in the wilds of Yellowstone National Park. Alone. At night. Surrounded by wolves and grizzly bears. Day after day, week after week. How far would you go to find your dog? Time is running out. Predators. Frigid nights. A dangerous landscape. Starvation.

Bring Jade Home is the gripping true story of Jade, a young Australian shepherd, who disappears into Yellowstone's wilderness after a horrific car wreck. Despite their injuries and against doctor's orders, her owners David and Laura leave the Trauma Center to begin a desperate search - can they find Jade before it's too…

Book cover of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Why did I love this book?

Oh my, this book is just amazing! The author is a cognitive scientist who explains how dogs perceive their world. You will learn about the canine sense of smell, why some dogs chase cars, their sharp ability to hear sounds, and how dogs communicate with each other. The author writes about different scientific studies and shares tidbits of fascinating information you likely don’t know about your dog. Although this book has nothing to do with lost dog recovery, it actually provides amazing insight into why some lost dogs become so panicked that they will run from everyone, even their own guardians! After reading this book, you will have a better understanding of WHY your dog does what it does. 

By Alexandra Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Inside of a Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As an unabashed dog lover, Alexandra Horowitz is naturally curious about what her dog thinks and what she knows. As a cognitive scientist she is intent on understanding the minds of animals who cannot say what they know or feel.

This is a fresh look at the world of dogs -- from the dog's point of view. The book introduces the reader to the science of the dog -- their perceptual and cognitive abilities -- and uses that introduction to draw a picture of what it might be like to bea dog. It answers questions no other dog book can…

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