Molly is the world’s first trained cat detection dog. Her job is to rescue missing moggies. We had been looking for a dog with a particular temperament and intelligence to join our team of pet detectives for 18 months. We had scouts out and had spoken to the country’s top breeders.
We needed a quick learner; one small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies cats hide in. Mostly, we needed a dog with no desire whatsoever to chase cats.
I came up with the idea in 2014. I had been doing the job for 20 years and my business, Pet Detectives, was getting around 30 calls a week about missing cats. When cats go to ground, they go into a comatose-like state and if they are not found quickly, within a fortnight, they often don’t survive after being rescued.
One particular couple who called me had bought their cat after struggling to have children. We found it in a neighbour’s garden shed, but it later died. Seeing them so bereft was a tipping point for me.
I worked in the police as a detective inspector for many years, and had seen dogs search for drugs and bombs and help with murder investigations. I figured, if a dog can be trained to find amphetamines, then it can be trained to find cats.
We found Molly, an 18-month-old black-haired cocker spaniel, on Gumtree. She was a giveaway. The ad said: “Needs a good home, cannot cope.” If cocker spaniels are not stimulated they become uncontrollable. She had been passed from pillar to post and had three owners in under two years. Read more…