SEATTLE - A local pet detective says her organization is in financially rocky straits after one of her search dogs swallowed a large rock, requiring expensive surgery.
That, plus an economy-related drop in donations, has really put a strain on her non-profit Missing Pet Partnership, said founder Kat Albrecht, especially during one of the busiest times of the year.
Last Friday, Zeke, a 5-year-old bloodhound, somehow swallowed a 1-inch diameter rock, said Albrecht. Veterinarians had to surgically remove the stone from Zeke's intestines and close it up with stitches. The final bill tallied about $2,089.
Zeke and the other Missing Pet Partnership dogs are trained to sniff out missing pets, much like police search and rescue dogs find missing humans. In fact, Albrecht said she got the idea while working with K-9's as a police officer at the University of California-Santa Cruz.
July 4 and the days surrounding tend to be the busiest time of year, Albrecht said, as many pets run off, frightened by the sounds of the fireworks.
The Missing Pet Partnership will be offering lost pet assistance, free of charge, from July 5 through July 7, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Seattle Animal Shelter at 2061 15th Ave W. Last year they helped find 14 lost dogs, Albrecht said.
She said she is also accepting volunteers and donations.