Most of us know the highly successful movie starring Jim Carey as the Pet Detective. Well here in South Florida, we have our very own pet detective, Jamie Katz. Her name is often plastered on social media posts or posters when there is a missing pet .
Initially did you question, is this lady for real? I have to say even I went into writing this article with a little bit of skepticism. What can a pet detective do that I can’t? Well I was pleasantly surprised to see how much she knew about how to keep your pets safe as well as what to do if they come up missing.
A Constant Barrage of Missing Pets
Every day when I open up Facebook or Next Door app the posts just scream at you: “Lost dog or cat”, “Help me find my baby” – it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
Even more heartbreaking is the fact that nationally only 16% of missing pets will make it back home. Our pets are members of our family and that statistic is completely unacceptable.
Mission: Locating and Reuniting Pets with Their Families
Jamie Katz is a Licensed Private Investigator originally from Massachusetts and now located in Fort Lauderdale. She is the only private investigator in Florida that devotes her practice full time to locating and reuniting lost, missing, or stolen pets with their families.
As an animal lover all her life, Detective Katz dedicated much of her time working with facilities to rescue, rehabilitate, and find forever homes for animals in need. For five years she worked as a Veterinary Technician and though rewarding, she believed she could do more.
Detective Katz ultimately obtained a degree in criminal justice and decided to merge her two passions – animal rescue and investigation. In September of 2015, she opened her own agency, concentrating solely on pet rescue throughout the state of Florida and if necessary, beyond. In six years, PI Jamie Katz, LLC has had over 700 cases with an estimated 67% success rate.
Finding Out the Facts to Find the Pet
When a pet’s owner calls Detective Katz for help she starts out by finding out the facts.
- When was the last time you saw your pet
- Where did it disappear?
- What type of personality does your pet have?
This brief interview is important because where your pet may end up depends a lot on their personality. Are they friendly enough to go with anyone such as a stranger or are more frightened and shy and will tend to hide? What would your dog do if a stranger came into your yard and picked them up? This is what Detective Katz needs to know. Her goal is to find out where your pet is so it is imperative to be as truthful as possible.
Before setting the reward amount, Detective Katz quantifies how much a particular breed of dog may cost in a certain area. For example, if your French bulldog goes missing and this dog is in high demand within your area, you have to make sure a person cannot make more money for your dog on the open market than your reward. Also, you do not want to offer a reward amount based on emotion. This aspect, of offering a reward, is very sad but unfortunately true. The ultimate goal is to bring your animal home safely.
All About Exposure
In the age of social media, it is all about exposure and getting the photo and description of your missing pet out there for as many people to see as possible. With over 6500 Facebook followers alone and a huge network of animal advocates, and law enforcement alike, Detective Katz uses her presence to assist in getting your pet’s information and photo out to the public.
She will provide you with a bright color sign with your pet’s photo, description and potential reward. In addition to Detective Katz social media blasts, you will be able to use this sign to advertise in your area. While you will field all calls, Jamie will assist you in how to handle these calls and any potential “tricky” situations.
Canine Detectives to the Rescue
Another service Detective Katz offers is two wonderfully trained tracking dogs named Fletcher (a terrier mix) and Gable (a Brittany spaniel). These canine detectives are given a scented article such as a collar, bed, or a hairbrush solely associated with your missing pet and will begin tracking at the point where your pet went missing. This will hopefully result in the direction in which your pet went.
If your dog has been sighted in another location, Fletcher and Gable can start from that point to get an updated travel point. It is imperative that the scented article is from your pet only. If you have multiple pets who use the same bed or hairbrush, take each of your pet’s collars and put them in an airtight plastic bag labeled with their name on it. These scented articles will be pet specific, last a lifetime, and will be vital should you ever need this service.
Your pet is an extension of your family, if they ever go missing, Detective Katz is here to help you find that missing piece and make your family whole again. But the best possible prevention for this is to take precautions to keep your pet safe.
Stay tuned for another article with Detective Katz’s safety tips.
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About the Author
Tami Wray was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and grew up in the Northwest area of Indiana on the beautiful Lake Michigan. Mrs. Wray relocated to Wilton Manors in 1988 with her mother and now considers Oakland Park her permanent home.
Along with raising two beautiful daughters and one step-daughter, she has spent her entire career working in the real estate field as a property manager, real estate paralegal and insurance professional.
One of her greatest passions is the rescuing of abused and homeless animals and promoting the need for spaying and neutering pets and adoptions of senior pets.
Mrs. Wray currently resides in Oakland Park with her husband Chris, two daughters and her rescue pets; four dogs, two cats and a ferret. Life is never boring!