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Real Life Ace Ventura! Meet The Detective Who Tracks Down Lost Cats, Dog, Birds And Even Ferrets

Storytrender 4/23/2019 Caters News Agency

Jamie Katz holding a dog © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS[/caption]

Jamie Katz, 38, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has cracked more than 500 cases since starting the job alongside her two canine companions – five-year-old doggy detectives Gable, a Brittany, and Fletcher, a terrier-mix, four years ago.

Jamie began owners with their pets in memory of her cat Precious, who died in 2011 after being attacked by two dogs, after hearing about the job from a friend who was interning as a private investigator and has a 67 per cent success rate.

Determined to ensure others don’t have to suffer the heartache of losing their pets, she can track a variety of pets – the quickest in five minutes and longest six months, charging £385 or more for her services.

Jamie who is regularly compared to Jim Carey’s role in the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, hopes to do this for the rest of her life.

She said: “It’s the best feeling in the world being able to help reunite people with their family members - I say family because to them they are not just pets.

“It’s very funny for me, because every day I hear ‘Jim Carey – Ace Ventura’ and so you have to go with it.

Jamie Katz et al. in a cage © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS[/caption]

“It’s good and it works well as people look at it and know what my job is without any explanation needed.

“One of the quickest cases I solved was where someone called me because their cat was stuck inside the walls of the house, which took us five minutes to find whereabout.

“Gable took us right up to a hole in kitchen cabinet where the cat got into the walls from and then it was ripped apart as phase two.

“The most unusual one I had was finding a ferret that was so smelly we could track it for miles.

“It turned out the ferret was put into a vehicle after it was found outside the house, then was taken to a friend’s garage who took it to another family member in Atlanta, Georgia.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS [/caption]

“We tracked the animal from Kendall in Florida, the owner then drove to Georgia to retrieve the animal which is 11 hours and over 650 miles each way.

“I once had a parrot case, where someone couldn’t get the rescue to let them see their bird and I had to act as a negotiator – that was bizarre.

“I have had a couple of bird cases, which I can track if their wings have been clipped but if not and they are fully-flighted the search is really difficult to track.”

For each case, Jamie starts on the phone asking details about the missing animal – from there she helps by launching a campaign to allow members of the public to report sightings.

She typically takes on two to three cases a week, but at times has contended with three in a day.

Her services include mass awareness campaigns with signposts, to having her dogs use their expert sense of smell to track a scent.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS[/caption]

Using the dogs, she claims she can deduce whether a pet walked away freely or was kidnapped, and after receiving sightings can mark a perimeter to retrieve a lost pet.

Jamie said: “One of the most important things for finding a lost pet is awareness, then the dogs help to move my case work forwards.

“I start by profiling the case, going over the who, what, where, why, when and how, then decide whether the animal is shy or friendly.

“That’s particularly important in our approach because a friendly pet will go to someone but a shy one may not.

“Once you understand the profile of the animal you can start with the signs to help with awareness, making sure no one can come into the area without seeing a sign.

a dog that is standing in the grass © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS[/caption]

“When there have been sightings, I come in and put it together to make sense of where the animal has been to put a recovery strategy in place.”

For in person visits, Jamie uses the dogs’ to latch onto the scent of the animal, which she vigorously tests by using a mixture of incorrect and correct scents to check their accuracy.

She admits that Gable and Fletcher’s talents are very similar, but it helps to ensure that the dogs are correct – the doggy duo are able to communicate where a scent stops or if it isn’t present.

They can track down nearly any pet in person – except for snakes, tortoises and turtles, who she will only help over the phone to keep her pets safe from attacks or bacteria.

Jamie said: “I start them off with the scent of an animal that has never been there so that I know they are going after the right scent.

a bird sitting on a newspaper © Provided by Caters News Agency Ltd MANDATORY BYLINE JAIME KATZ / CATERS NEWS[/caption]

“When they can’t follow the scent any further, they will stop and let me know.

“We can use anything from a collar that’s seven-years-old to a spot on the carpet where they lay-down or a bandana they once wore to the groomers for an hour.

“We can get a scent off anything except for metal collars.”

Related Video: Girl, 20, is rookie pet detective – searching for lost pets as full-time job

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