Not All "Pet Detectives"
Are Created Equal
by P.L. Paisley - Lost Pet Advocate
Reprinted with permission
I see many different
ads for companies and people claiming to be "pet detectives" aka "pet searchers", "trackers"
and "tracking teams".
It made me wonder-What should someone
look for when hiring a person or company that claims they can help you find your lost animal? How do you know if these people
are legitimate? When your animal goes missing, it is often a traumatic and emotional experience, you will do anything in your
power to find them because they are a member of your family. Hiring a "pet detective" is another tool that can aid
in the search for a missing animal. However, over the years I have learned that making a poor or uninformed choice in a "pet
detective"; choosing one that does not have the needed experience or knowledge, can be detrimental to the safe recovery
of your lost animal!
Many people don't realize what is actually involved
in searching for a lost animal. It can be physically and emotionally draining and time consuming; like taking on another job!
A pet detective/searcher/tracking team is a service centered type of business, (meaning they earn money for their service),
which is focused on helping an owner find their missing animal. They can save precious time and resources to help get that
animal home safely and as soon as possible but not all "Pet Detectives" are created equal.
I have seen a few web based training courses that tout training and certification over the internet. However,
it takes many years of hands on training with dogs to learn the techniques, scenarios and earn the necessary experience, that
is vital in every aspect of this type of work. The safe recovery of your animal will depend on a well trained handler and
a well trained search dog.
Hiring this type of service
is not a cheap option for many people. However, consider what might be involved and included in their fees, from the initial
call and office work, to when the search team is deployed, to the end of the search itself.
- A search team will likely have to drive to the location of the missing animal with their
dog team, in all weather conditions, and depending on where their home base is or where in the country they currently are.
- They have to factor in wear/tear on vehicles and gas to the search location and back to
- Once on location, they will have to have a place to
stay that will accommodate both handlers and dogs. This might present a challenge since not all hotels will accept animals
and all of them will need to eat.
- Also, there is the physical
act of the search itself, covering all types of terrain and in all weather conditions. Some searches may take a few minutes
and some might take much longer.
are looking for Pet Detectives and companies that have ongoing professional training, certifications, licenses and have a
history of experience and success. The pet detective you choose should have a serious level of commitment and sincere dedication
to helping people find their lost animals.
All of this information and
the answers to your questions should be factored into your choice of any "Pet Detectives" service. Choose wisely
to ensure the successful recovery of your beloved family member!
can find additional information and resources about "Pet Detectives" and tracking dogs in your area at The Missing Animal Scent Dog Network (MASDN). Most of the certified K9 handlers on MASDN have over 5 years of experience
and many are also Private Investigators and handlers with real Search and Rescue experience.