The other night, I was flicking through the channels and found an old movie, Ace Ventura Pet Detective. While Jim Carrey’s sophomoric antics still make me laugh all these years later, I started to wonder…is there really such a thing as a pet detective? I had, thankfully, never needed those services, as my loving companions are always pretty content to just lie around and do not ever like to be too far from home, but it did get me thinking. I am always seeing missing pet posts on Facebook and flyers around town. I started to wonder where would I turn if one of my pets went missing other than the police? Then, lo and behold, I open the latest issue of Hamptons Pet and there is an article on pet detectives right there! It’s actually a thing!
Hamptons Pet interviewed Jamie Katz, a pet investigator from Florida who has a 62% success rate of finding lost pets – 4 times that of the national average! In the article, Jamie takes us through the process of finding a lost pet. In addition to taking to social media, Jamie has two tracking dogs who follow air scent trackers. In case you were wondering – I didn’t know what that was either. Apparently, it means the follow scent trails in the air and know to follow the most recent and can find the shortest route to their goal (the lost pet). This led me to wonder…did all pet detectives have these type of tracking dogs? How many pet detectives were out there? Are there any near me?
Full of questions, I took to the internet and found there is an organization called the Missing Pet Partnership, which gives a Missing Animal Response Technician Training to would-be pet detectives, as well as provides tips on recovering your lost pet and a Pet Detective Directory. There are currently active pet detectives in 41 of our 50 states and three throughout Canada.
All of this information just gave me more questions. How/why do so many dogs go missing? Are there more now
than ever, giving rise to the need for an association devoted to training pet detectives? Well, according to
LostDogsofAmerica.org, there are! In recent years, there has been an increasing trend in adopting rescue dogs as opposed to purchasing them from breeders. These rescue dogs are often scared and shy and have a higher tendency of running away from a new home or a shelter or in transit there. Dogs sold in pet stores are typically under socialized, as they are generally taken from their mothers too soon and before proper socialization has developed. Their fear and shyness can cause them to run away from a situation with a new family. My family features pups of each – I have purchased and I have rescued. My rescues always seem to need a bit of time – but oh, the happiness when they come around. I can attest to Lost Dogs of America’s statements. As I said, the rescues always need time, and a little extra TLC.
What started off as a curiosity over a funny movie, ended up in a mad search for answers and now that I have a solid understanding of pet detectives and the work they do, I must say I’m impressed. My hope is that I never need the services of my very own Ace Ventura but, if ever I do, I know where to go, what to do and how.