Shortly after the Holiday Farm fire decimated the Oregon towns of Blue River and Vida in early September this year, Katie Albright headed to the burn zone with an animal trapper and two firefighters. “A big house on the river was still standing, with a cat inside,” she says. “The power was out, it was dark and we had a six pm curfew. The house was huge, and we couldn’t find the cat. Finally, I told the team, ‘Let me bring in Franklin.’”

Franklin is Albright’s three-year old Dachshund/Beagle mix, adopted from a Colorado shelter. With him, she completed a 10-week remote cat-detection course through Missing Animal Response Network, which trains dogs to detect the scent of lost felines.

In the midst of the wildfires blazing across Oregon in September, Albright hooked her pop-up camper to her vehicle and headed into the choking smoke and ash with Franklin to help recover…

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