Upcoming 8 week course on Lost Pet Rescue
Starts August 8th.
Beginning August 8th, I will be presenting an online course on Lost Pet Rescue. This will be the second time I have taught this material. We will meet on Zoom, probably, two nights per week for 90 minutes each night. I am thinking Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7:30, but that could change if a majority of the students need different days and times. The fee for the course is $350, and it includes a paid subscription to this newsletter. If you are already a paid subscriber, then the tuition is reduced to $275.
Below is a course outline, showing the topics we will cover.
2. Using a search dog or not
3. Physical requirements
4. Safety considerations
5. Lost pet behavior
6. Pet owner behavior
7. Pet finder behavior
9. Observation, logic, inference, and deductions. Probabilities more than absolute answers. Being a detective, with limitations on time and resources.
10. Practical applications of a system of loci.
11. Evidence collection
1. Evidence pointed out by the dog
2. Evidence that isn't there. The dog that didn't bark.
12. Evidence is not proof
1. Quality of evidence
3. How to present evidence
4. DNA testing
13. Case files and case log
14. Interview methods and goals
1. Most witnesses are wrong about something. Some witnesses are wrong about most things.
15. Training a dog for scent trails
1. Evaluation for suitability.
1. Temperament around people.
2. Aversion to to strangers and startling situations.
3. Basic obedience, not too much obedience.
4. Temperament around dogs and cats.
5. Physical attributes. Endurance. Heat tolerance. Coat. Age. Health issues. Neutered or not?
6. Interest in play or treat motivation.
7. Excess energy. Difficult dogs can be good at this.
2. Beginning runaways.
3. Introduce scent article.
4. Wait command.
6. Split trails.
7. The importance of knowing the scent trail in advance.
8. Distractions and decoys.
9. Aging trails.
10. Reading signals.
11. Using push or an indicator.
12. Decomp training.
13. Ongoing training.
15. Don’t use your dog too soon.
16. Training a dog for lost cats
17. Working a case with a scent trailing dog.
18. Working a case with a cat detection dog.
19. Success rate.
20. Finding remains
21. Locating trace evidence.
22. Anticipatory grief.
25. Smartphone usage
1. Maps and navigation
3. Mobile case files
4. Photographing evidence
5. Recording GPS trails
6. Voice notes
8. Ability to manage every aspect from the field
26. Business considerations
28. Bird language and alarms.
29. Safety while working
30. Social media, benefits and traps.
32. Calming signals and magnet dog
1. Smart phone. Don't skimp. $1,000
2. Jacket. $300. Essential.
3. Harness. $50
4. Leash. $25
5. First aid kit. $70
6. Knife. $30
7. Shears. $40
8. Flashlights. $80
9. Notepad and pen. $5
10. Business cards. $100?
11. 48 F trap. $375
12. Backup battery. $30
13. Plumbers camera. $50
14. Luminol. $100
15. Other traps from 36 to 72. $100 to $570.
16. Kennel trap. $1500?
17. Wildlife camera. $80
18. Wireless wildlife camera. $175
19. Gloves. $10
20. Water bottle. $8
21. Pepper spray. $15
22. Bear spray. $25
23. Big net. ?
24. Magnum net. $160
25. Snappy snare. $100
26. Catch pole. $150
27. Chip scanner. $330
28. Clam trap. $150
29. Drop trap. ?
30. DSLR camera. $800
31. Listening devices. ?
32. Posters. $5 to $12 each
33. Printer. They screw you on ink refills.
34. Laminator. $30
35. Decent SUV or van for dogs and equipment. $8,000 plus.
37. Heat camera. $300 to $5,000.
1. Fake search dogs.
2. Craigslist need code.
3. Crank call, I ran over your cat.
5. $6,000 to search for Whidbey black lab.
36. Traps and cameras
38. Coordinating spontaneous teams
39. Loss prevention.
40. What I don't know. What is scent? Where do homeless people get dogs? What are the actual statistics? Would it help to be a licensed private investigator?
Reasons you may want to take this course might include if you wanted to start your own business like Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue. I hope you do, and I would welcome other businesses in this field. In some sense we might be competitors, but there is so much demand for lost pet services that there is room in the industry for hundreds more like us. If you don’t want to start a business, you could still learn a lot from this course. It would benefit anyone working in a nonprofit rescue or at a shelter. My dream is that every county in the nation would have someone skilled in the methods of Lost Pet Rescue. Although almost every jurisdiction has animal control officers of one sort or another, there obviously is a need for more in depth services for lost pets, more than what most counties or cities provide currently. Almost every county or city has access to search dogs for lost humans. It would not be that hard, if the resources were made available, for every jurisdiction to have qualified search dogs for lost pets, and handlers that know how to use them. If you take this course, I guarantee you will have many opportunities to use the skills and knowledge you acquire here. If you find yourself in a position where you need to help a lost pet, I guarantee that you will be glad you took this course.
If you are interested in taking the course, please join the Facebook group. As noted in previous newsletters, I am not a fan of Facebook, but it is an established communication method, for better or for worse. If you are not on Facebook, you can comment here, or contact me a jim@3Retrievers.com.