Pet Detectives: Expert Help for Finding a Lost, Stolen or Missing Animal

Pet detectives
Hire a pet detective to help find a lost pet.

What is a Pet Detective?

Pet detectives can be lifesavers for animal lovers. Using special techniques, expertise, and equipment, they track down and reunite you with your lost pet when you may have lost all hope of ever finding them. These experienced professionals know where to look and how to go about finding your lost furry friend.

Sometimes, lost pets turn up in the most unlikely places and are found at the oddest of times. It can be a difficult job that is extremely rewarding at times, and incredibly disappointing at others. However, the joy that comes from reuniting a pet owner with their dearly loved pet makes the effort worthwhile.

So, exactly what are pet detectives? A pet detective is someone who specializes in finding domestic household animals that have been lost, run away, or even stolen from their owners and homes. Pet detectives use some of the same procedures that private investigators use to find missing people.

However, pet detectives often work with specially trained dogs who help track and locate lost animals. In addition, they may use high-end and specialized surveillance and tracking equipment, such as GPS trackers, drones, and more.

There are even forensic experts who work with pet detectives to help find missing animals. The two usually work in tandem with local animal shelters since these shelters get regular updates on lost and found pets in the area.

Hire a Pet Detective

The following are resources for finding missing pets using searchable pet databases or animal detective services.

Lost Pet Professionals… The REAL Pet Detectives

Specializing in Lost dogs and cats…the only Nationwide Pet Detective.

Private Investigator Karin TarQwyn is the most recognized missing dog expert in North America. Since 2005, she has worked full time assisting pet owners in the location and recovery of their missing pets. Along with her team of investigators and real pet detectives, she has assisted thousands of pet owners to locate and recover their missing four-pawed family members.

TarQwyn has pioneered the art and science of K9 and Feline Profiling and Aerial location which allows her and other private investigators at Lost Pet Professionals, the opportunity to assist pet owners with strategies designed specifically for their missing dog or cat.

TarQwyn appears regularly on TV shows and in the media. She has been featured and filmed by CNN, Animal Planet, the Today show, People, PBS, Dog Fancy, and over fifty TV shows and newscasts across the U.S. Karin TarQwyn also the author of How to Find a Lost Dog -The Pet Owners Guide which is available on Amazon. TarQwyn and her certified team of tracking dogs are available to help pet owners in many states and locations. Watch the videos… actions speak louder than words.

Karin and her K9’s track seven miles to find a lost dog, in five hours. Captured by a news crew from beginning to end.

Contact Information

Karin TarQwyn
Phone Number: (888) 569-5775
Email Address:
Private Investigator License Number: NE656, #PI28194, #2014 012295, C1700085, # A1700050, 112638, 1557NE


Owner: Tammy Wozniak-Reed
Phone: (386)547-1740
License Number C-1300249

PET PI is Florida’s first Private Investigation Agency specializing exclusively in reuniting pets with their loved ones by providing professional missing pet services, certified search dogs, and highly effective consultation service to aid in the safe recovery of a lost or missing cat or dog. State of Florida Licensed Investigation Agency License #A-1300239. Certified Missing Animal Response Technician.

For other private investigators who also specialize as pet detectives, please see our Private Investigator Directory.

Interested in a Career? Learn how you can become a pet detective

The first and foremost thing that you need to be a pet detective is an unwavering love for animals and their well-being. Secondly, you need to be able to make a connection with an animal instantly, no matter how lost or scared it seems. You should be able to make it feel at ease and be able to approach it without scaring or agitating it.

Also, you need to be empathetic towards other people, since the owners in most cases will be distraught about losing their pet. You should be able to communicate well so that you can interview the owners as well as their neighbors to know as much as possible about the missing animal and its personality.

You need to be trained to understand animal behavior so that when you do find a missing animal, you can keep yourself and the animal as well as anyone else around safe at all times. Depending on where you are, you will need to be certified by local authorities to practice your profession. For more information, visit Missing Animal Investigators of America.

Things to be aware of

If you are looking to become a pet detective, there are a few things you need to know. Most requests are for lost animals are either for dogs or cats. A number of lost animals land up at local animal shelters, so it is always a good place to start with. You have to be prepared for disappointments since a good number of animals are never found. Also, lost or difficult to find pets will likely be scared and may be aggressive.

In addition, you may need to be out at odd times of the day and night. However, overall it is a highly rewarding profession, one that brings joy every time a missing pet is found and reunited with its family.

Other resources for finding a missing animal:

  • is an independent pet detective site to help find your missing pet.
  • – Petfinder is an on-line, searchable database of animals that need homes. It is also a directory of over 9,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Organizations maintain their own home pages and available pet database.
  • Sherlock Bones: Tracer Of Missing Pets – Sherlock Bones is an independent pet detectives site that provides missing pet search services.
Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


  1. I live in Des Moines Iowa and my puppy has gone missing on thanksgiving and we have done all the normal searches and nothing. can you help do you have anyone close by.

  2. My puppy was stolen June 10, 2019 I pressed charges the person went to jail for 3 days they got out and I still don’t have any clue where my puppy is. The person who stole him ain’t talking I’ve checked shelters I’ve done pawboost, I’ve put out pet alerts I’ve checked hospitals and still nothing. The police I guess did there best however im still without my baby. I have no idea where is his can u please help

  3. Hi i live in Michigan and i sold a pet to someone and they gave me a bad credit card and now they want return my dog!! the police want do anything to help said go to court i don’t want that it will take too long and in the mean time they will sell her. She is a expensive English Bulldogs !! Can you help ?

  4. Private Investigator Karin TarQwyn and her team of investigators are REAL pet detectives. Private Investigators with certified tracking dogs trained to FIND lost dogs and cats. Assistance available both on location and off site through K9 and Feline Profiling and aerial recovery strategies. America’s Missing Pet P.I. has been helping pet owners find and recover their lost dogs and cats since 2005. check it out… 888-569-5775

    • Hi there. We’re sorry to hear that you lost your dog. We hope you are reunited soon.

      Unfortunately, doesn’t provide these services directly. We only provide information about the profession and links to various services. Try contacting one of the service providers above for more information. Also, conduct a Google search for pet detective and your local city and state name. There may be a provide in your local area.

      Please let us know if you’re able to find your dog.

  5. Please let readers know there is also a pet detective just for lost cats!

    Services are available in these states:
    Alabama · Arizona · Arkansas · California · Colorado · Connecticut · Delaware · Florida · Georgia · Hawaii · Idaho · Illinois · Indiana · Iowa · Kansas · Kentucky · Louisiana · Maryland · Massachusetts · Michigan · Minnesota · Mississippi · Missouri · Montana · Nebraska · Nevada · · New Jersey · New Mexico · New York · North Carolina · North Dakota · Ohio · Oklahoma · Oregon · Pennsylvania · Rhode Island · South Carolina · South Dakota · Tennessee · Texas · Utah · Vermont · Virginia · Washington · West Virginia · Wisconsin · Wyoming

  6. Hi I need help. My dogs have been sold by a person that I trusted. I left them in her care with a promise that they would be there when I could take them. She sold them. She will not tell me who she sold them to. I’m afraid she sold them to someone that will not treat them well and I want them back. Can you help me.

  7. PET PI is Florida’s first Private Investigation Agency specializing exclusively in reuniting lost cats and dogs with their loved ones by providing professional services, certified search dogs and effective consultation aiding in the safe recovery of lost pets.


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