Cheeto: Cat Behind the Scenes Trains Search Dogs

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Cheeto is an important part of the Missing Pet Partnership team. MPP finds missing pets, and uses search dogs in their work. Cheeto is a specially trained cat who helps train search dogs and decide which dogs are suited to the work.

We posted a feature on the pet detective work of MPP last December, with Wenty’s Whirlwind, the story of a successful rescue of a cat lost at an airport. Kat Albrecht, MMP founder and guardian to Cheeto provided the story of Wenty’s rescue.

Cheeto is an important part of the pet detecting operation, and will get his due this upcoming Saturday, March 17, when he will be featured on Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats program.

Cheeto’s bio, from MPP: Cheeto is a mischievous, orange tabby named after the snack food he resembled as a kitten. He works for Missing Pet Partnership as a target cat, which means Cheeto hides (inside a cat carrier) from dogs that are trained to search for lost cats. Cheeto loves dogs and it’s possible that he thinks he’s a dog! His hobbies include playing with sticky tape, pawing at bedroom miniblinds at 5:00 a.m. to wake his human, and attacking red lazer lights. Cheeto is trained to sit up, beg, and wave his paw for a piece of dried salmon.


Kat Albrecht is pleased to see Cheeto in the spotlight, and, more importantly,  recognizes the widespread exposure tonight’s program will bring as an opportunity for more people to learn that there are successful missing pet search efforts, and to understand a bit more about what searchers do. Kat hopes to expand the Missing Pet Partnership network around the US.

Kat writes: ”

Our vision at Missing Pet Partnership is to develop lost pet search-and-rescue teams just like what we’ve launched here in Seattle. We hope to rescue dogs like Karma and more cats like Cheeto (oh good grief, can there really be more  cats like him?) from animal shelters, train them and use them to recover lost pets, and partner with animal shelters, rescue groups, and volunteer teams that we help to train in communities across North America. If you’d like more information on our Missing Animal Response training course (that will be held here in Seattle this June) or in how YOU can host a MAR seminar in your own community, click here.

The Evening Magazine clip did not give correct statistics on our recovery rate! They said that “Cheeto and the dogs with Missing Pet Partnership found over 300 cats last year alone.” The reality is that our search dogs are only one tool that we use at MPP to help families recover lost cats (and lost dogs) and our search dogs only recover a very small percentage of the lost pets that we search for! What should’ve been reported was that last year, Missing Pet Partnership helped over 300 families recover their lost cats through all of the techniques that we use (advice on our web site which is linked to animal shelter web sites nationally, lost cat email consultations, lost cat telephone consultations, physical searches with our cat detection dogs, humane traps, wildlife cameras, and lost cat recovery tips).”


Here is a little feature about Cheeto and how he works.

Preview titled Pit bull Searches For Lost Cat from tonight’s Must Love Cats  program on Animal Planet. The show will also feature a segment on Moki, the special needs kitty.



1 thought on “Cheeto: Cat Behind the Scenes Trains Search Dogs”

  1. Good job Cheeto! I am happy know that you work so hard to train those search dogs. I hope that they find many lost pets because of your hard work!

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