Kathleen Kelsey has been a search and rescue K9 handler since 2003 and has worked both live find and cadaver dogs. Kathleen has been a certified handler with FEMA Missouri Task Force One, as well as Mclean County EMA. Kathleen brings years of experience having participated in approximately 25 searches all over the United States.
Kathleen's canine training initially specialized in live find disaster search with her first partner, K9 Calvary (deceased), a male Dutch Shepherd. His career encompassed many federal deployments, including responding to Hurricane Katrina.
Following K9 Calvary's retirement, she certified with K9 Chico Dog (deceased), a male American Bulldog Mix, who was owned and trained by handler Sue Vieth. Kathleen had the privilege of deploying on multiple federal deployments with K9 Chico Dog, including to the EF5 Joplin Tornado.
Kathleen imported K9 Zach (retired), a male German Shepherd, to be her next live find partner but he showed himself more suited for human remains detection. K9 Zach was certified through FEMA and NAPWDA and deployed throughout the Midwest. He retired in 2018 when his final certification expired.
Kathleen certified with K9 Phavor, a male Labrador Retriever, in live find disaster response through FEMA. She placed K9 Phavor with another handler who was in need of a partner while she focused on raising a puppy.
K9 Redden, a male Dutch Shepherd, was raised and trained by Kathleen and certified in disaster with IPWDA. During a training exercise, K9 Redden was struck by a vehicle and killed. While he never deployed, his legacy lives on in the K9 Redden Memorial Disaster Dog Training Scholarship which provides financial support for K9 handlers across the country.
Kathleen is currently training K9 Oma, a female Dutch Shepherd, whelped in 2017 who will certify through FEMA and a national law enforce mentor organization in 2019.