Dog Online: Be aware of Internet scams that claim a pet detective or
search dog handler and will come look for your pet. They ask you to pay on line without talking to anyone. This is a scam.
Are you a Certified Professional? You
are looking for a CERTIFIED K9 handler that is experienced with working all types of missing pet cases. Their dog team needs
to have the ability to do a scent scan and follow a trail for several miles. Certified
K9 Handlers can be found on the National Directory for MASDN - The Missing Animal Scent Dog Network. MASDN is the only network that certifies K9 Handler's for this specialty based on the boots on the ground work that is necessary.
Amateurs Certified through Online Classes or Webinar: Beware of organizations that offer certified Pet Detectives trained online or in a webinar. This type of work cannot
be learned and experienced through online classes. Individuals interested in doing this type of work must receive hands-on
training and mentoring by legitimate professionals versed in all the aspects of tracking and case work. This simply cannot
be done in an online class, reading of a book or video training.
The Search Dog Myth: Search dogs look for missing people not missing animals. All true
search dogs will be proofed against following any animal scent. Time and time again, pet owners have found someone who says
they have a search dog and have hired them to look for their missing pet only to find that the individual has no idea
how to proceed to find a missing pet. Scent Specific dogs that do this work are trained to do this work... period.
Are the tracking dogs on your team Scent Specific? Anyone doing this work professionally will use scent specific tracking dogs. This mean the tracking dogs will follow
the specific scent of your pet. You must ask if the K9 handler's working dogs are scent specific as there is an organization
that promotes the use of non-scent specific dogs for missing cats. This is almost always a futile and ineffective search process
so be aware of this. The K9 Handler and tracking dogs must move your search forward with valuable information or by finding
Do the K9s on your team have trained alerts? It is required that the K9 Handler's K9 Team can check sightings and that the K9s on the team
have a clear alert for "no scent." This is imperative for working missing pet cases.
Can I go with you on the search? Be particulary
cautious of anyone who does not want you to go with them on the search for your pet. If the individual asks you to stay at
home and wait for their call, it is best to pass this opportunity by. There is no mystery or reason that a pet owner cannot
view the investigative and/or search process. K9s that do this work have been exposed and proofed to work regardless the distraction.
As professionals, we find that many times the pet owner provides valuable information that moves the search forward. If the
pet detective says you cannot go... do not hire them.
What are your credentials, background
and history? It is important to know how
the prospective K9 handler got into this field. Are they from search and rescue? Law enforcement as a K9 handler? The
professional you need will have at least two years in this industry and/or is being mentored by a veteran professional. They
should have learned their handling skills from a recognized professional or trainer. Certification and effectiveness in this
field cannot be achieved by reading a book, taking online classes, webinars or video learning.
Can I have
the names of other pet owners you have worked with? Ask for five client testimonials and references with phone numbers....
and call, text or email them.