can't I just hire search dogs to find my cat?
your cat is in the Classic Complete Cover category, the timid indoor-only
who has somehow escaped outside, this method is NOT recommended. The
more timid, the stronger this caution.
a pet is missing, owners often want to make sure they do everything
possible to recover their animal; it's perfectly natural. And because
humans have such a poor sense of smell compared to cats and dogs, hiring
a search dog team to do the sniffing seems to make perfect sense.
you make that decision, please be cautious and know that there are risks
involved. There is a chance your cat could be scared further away, making
it even harder to locate.
is what pet detective Kat Albrecht said:
.. a trailing search dog would not be able to track a scent
trail of a lost cat if the trail is older than 3 to 5 days.
So the dog used would need to be a cat detection dog--one trained
to find ANY cat out there. The problem when working a cat detection
dog is that the dog WILL "bump" or frighten a cat if the cat
is prone to panic or run when a dog approaches. What typically
happens is that an indoor-only cat escapes outside and if the
cat is a panicked cat (like Maxwell Smart is) THEN WE USUALLY
DO NOT RECOMMEND USING THE DETECTION DOG because we already
know (suspect) that the cat is nearby hiding (which by reading
their e-mail, it appears he is likely hiding somewhere in the
area). A cat detection dog CAN be used (and has been in the
past) on cases like this...but when the panicked cat suddenly
bolts and launches over the fence, we stop and tell the owner,
"Now you know that your cat IS alive, IS nearby, and IS here...you
need to get permission to go into that neighbors yard and either
coax him out or use a baited humane trap".
cat detection dogs are a PRIMARY tool to use when an outdoor
access cat has suddenly vanished---that is where they are best
suited. The PRIMARY tool to use when a cat like Maxwell has
escaped outside is the baited humane trap.
know it must be frustrating for them since it has been over
a month, but if he was beat up by another cat he likely ran
an additional few houses or so. They just need to continue to
BELIEVE and understand that their cat IS ALIVE but IS HIDING
and that even if they hired a search dog to come out to search,
THE DOG WILL NOT BRING THEIR CAT BACK HOME! It might only complicate
their efforts to recover him by using a baited humane trap.
Kathy "Kat" Albrecht
time goes by, more and more people are coming forward claiming
they have a dog trained to locate lost pets. Because I have
heard of a few cases where the "search dogs" abilities (and
training) were questionable, I can only recommend the resources
that are posted on the Missing Pet Partnership web site at www.lostapet.org.
As the science of lost pet services continues to develop, we
will no doubt see more and more qualified MAR (missing animal
response) search dogs and pet detectives become available. Unfortunately,
we will also see many UNDER qualified resources appear as well.
Since this service (pet detectives with dogs trained to locate
lost pets)is unregulated, pet owners should be careful to do
their research to make certain they are using a qualified, reliable,
and proven resource.
whole website is about helping owners locate missing pets, primarily
indoor-only cats. Any recommendation (or caution) is based on
multiple people's experiences and knowledge, but it certainly
doesn't mean that one particular method which is cautioned against
cannot ever recover your pet. Nor does it guarantee that the recommended
methods will indeed bring you success. If you do anything
versus nothing you will have a higher chance of
recovery. Please use our collective knowledge to help you choose
which techniques to emphasize in your unique situation, and try
to use as many of the techniques as you can.
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