Behind The Scenes With A Real Life Pet Detective

Does anybody remember Ace Ventura: Pet Detective? Back when Jim Carrey did zany characters, this film followed the exploits of Ace as he tracked down missing animals. We all laughed, contrarians scoffed but two decades later we’re still wondering: is pet detective a real job?

The answer is yes, there are people out there that you can hire to find your missing pets. The Independent had a conversation with Colin Butcher, a man dedicated to tracking down missing and stolen dogs.

What a hero. The best part of it is that he’s real, unlike Ace…

Reportedly, dog thefts have risen by over a fifth in the past two years. We wrote about the rise of the Dog Parent yesterday, and understandably Colin is hired to reunite an owner with their furry babies within 24 hours.

This is what we learned from his interview.

Dog thefts are a serious issue

While dog walkers are sometimes jumped and vehicles are stolen to ransom dogs off, hired dog walkers are known to hand dogs off to thieves. You don’t know who you can trust with your dog these days!

There are four types of dog thief

The opportunistic thieves snatch dogs from gardens, shops and cars. The specialists target dog walkers and break into homes. Occupationists are your typical disgruntled dog walkers and ‘the crazies’ that could be ex-lovers that steal their partner’s dogs.

How do you even find a missing dog?

Can you use a sniffer dog to find a dog? Apparently they’re useless and finding other dogs but people are very perceptive when it comes to remember details about dogs.

When the usual asking around and CCTV stuff is called a peli case which is used to scout out any suspicious people. The pet detectives then meet with the suspicious people under the pretence that they’re buying a stolen dog. They follow them back to the meeting place, retrieve the dog and return it happily to the owner.

How successful are pet detectives?

“The sooner we’re involved after the dog goes missing the more successful our search. If you contact us 24 hours after the theft, there is an 80 per cent chance we can find your dog.”