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Lost Dog Searchers


Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue

Since 2008, James Branson and his team of scent-trailing dogs have helped search for lost pets in the Puget Sound area. James founded Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue in 2012 after volunteering with Missing Pet Partnership for four years.


Three Retrievers receives over 800 requests a year to find missing dogs and cats, many during thunderstorms or fireworks displays. James and his team try to respond to the most urgent cases. They log over 80 hours per week; each search effort lasts 3-5 hours. Their success rate is approximately 70%.


The Team

Currently, James has two working dogs named Fozzie and Valentino. He also has a dog named Komu, or Mu for short, who searches specifically for lost cats.


Kelsy was a scent-trailing dog who worked alongside James for eight years until she passed away from cancer at age 11. Throughout her career, Kelsy searched for over 350 dogs and located about 20% of them.


Missing Pets: What To Do

James has created a guide for finding lost dogs and a guide for finding lost cats. (His number one tip: Don’t panic!) When engaging with a scent-trailing team, James suggests that pet owners take the following actions to increase the chances of recovering their lost dogs or cats:

  • Prepare a “scent item” for the scent-trailing dog, such as the missing pet’s toy or blanket.

  • Provide a picture of the lost pet as a visual reference for the handler.


Contacting James

You can find more information about James and his team at http://www.3retrievers.com/. (Bookmark his website to have it readily available should a missing pet emergency arise!) James has also written handbooks about finding missing pets. For those interested in reaching out to James, fill out his contact form; it’s the most efficient way to get help.


Other Resources

If James and his team aren’t available or you need urgent help, here are five other helpful resources:



Article written by Holly Cook

Edited by K. Sims

Information gathered from http://www.3retrievers.com/.

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