By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — When Fido flies the coop or your tabby takes off, you may need a real life Sherlock Holmes to get them home safe again. That is where Jamie Katz comes in. She is South Florida’s very own pet detective, specializing in reuniting lost and missing pets with their owners.

In October alone, Katz, a licensed private investigator and K9 handler, helped bring Bodie a lost Border collie home to Parkland in October. She also found Mytsio, a cat roaming seven days in Coral Springs and Swag, a black lab mix found in Coconut Grove.

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The reunions are emotional.  Many are posted on Katz’s very active Facebook page.

“If you don’t have 100-percent in finding your pet and take it seriously, you have less of a chance,” Katz explains to CBS4’s Joan Murray.

It starts with flooding neighborhoods and social media with pictures of your missing animal.


Her pet detective rates start at a few hundred dollars. She provides the signs. You put them up in a strategically planned route.

“You make it impossible for anyone ‘not’ to see a sign in the area,” says Katz.

The signs often lead to sightings.

Jamie Katz and her tracking dog (CBS4)

Depending on the circumstances, Katz also uses her trained tracking dogs. She will use an object with a lost animal’s scent and the dogs can track back to the spot where the scent trail ends.

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Katz has an impressive track record. Nearly 70-percent of the animals she has been hired to find are back home.

Natalie Lopez, a public defender with Broward County, hired Katz to find Choco her lost dog.

“I was frantic,” Lopez recalls.

It began with posting signs of Choco for miles around her home and desperate searches Lopez made day and night.  With Katz’s tracking dogs, they discovered that Choco had been taken.

Choco (CBS4)

It took 48 days and a handsome ransom to be reunited with Choco. Lopez says it would not have happened without Katz’s help.

“She was available 24/7.  She was my lifeline.”

There are unsolved cases. Pets are still missing but no matter how much time goes by; Katz never ignores a phone call or passes up a lead to make the impossible, possible.

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“Doing this work is hard. But when you get the animal back, it’s amazing!” says Katz.