Meet China’s Pet Detective

A man smoking a pipe.

Pet detectives offer help for pet owners to find their lost pets. (Image: Sammy-Sander via Pixabay)

For pet owners, their pets are part of the family. As such, losing their pets can be psychologically taxing to the owners. In China, a private detective is offering to find your missing pet, basically becoming the first-ever pet detective in the country. 

The pet detective

Detective Sun Jinrong began offering his service to find missing pets around 7 years back. During this time, he has reunited around 1,000 pets with their owners. Sun’s business, located in the city of Shanghai, employs 10 people in total. Clients pay around 8,000 yuan (US$1,194) for his service. The detective states that he often gets phone calls in the middle of the night from frantic pet owners and has to rush to their place to offer help.

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According to Sun, the reason why many pets go missing is not that they are lost but because they are stolen. As far as dogs are concerned, they are sometimes stolen and sold for their meat. When an owner comes to realize that their pet is missing, they struggle to find them since they do not know how to correctly conduct the search.

Sun and his team are equipped with advanced tools and have years of experience in carrying out such pet searches efficiently. They can think of several ways to look for a pet. Sun’s business has apparently inspired others, with two more pet detective services popping up in recent years.

When Sun goes out looking for a missing pet, he uses hunting techniques to conduct the search. He carries a few tranquilizer darts and a blowgun as tools. Sun notes that one has to be very careful while catching the pets. For instance, you cannot use nets to catch small dogs like Pomeranians since their hearts are so small that such a method could kill them. He mostly operates late at night when there is less noise around. This is a perfect time for pets to emerge from their hiding spots. 

As a pet detective, Sun mostly works at night when pets come out from their hiding places.
As a pet detective, Sun mostly works at night when pets come out from their hiding places. (Image: via Pixabay)

“We have no predecessors in this industry. We are all crossing the river by feeling the stones,” Sun said to Breaking Asia. The detective claims that he has a success rate of around 60 to 70 percent, meaning that most of his clients do end up getting back their beloved pets.

In the past, China had banned owning pets like dogs under Mao’s rule since the creature was seen as a menace brought to the country by the West. But in recent decades, such views have changed. Almost 100 million households in China now have pets. In a survey conducted last year, around 60 percent of pet owners stated that they viewed their pets as children.

America’s missing pets

According to the American Humane Association, about 1 in 3 pets eventually become lost at some point in time. The Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families states that nearly 10 million cats and dogs get stolen every single year in the country, with less than 23 percent of them being found and reunited with their owners. More than 9 million pets that end up in animal shelters get killed off.

A pug dog puppy.
Some dogs in the U.S. are kidnapped and killed for meat. (Image: via Pixabay)

There are several reasons why pets can get lost. The animals can just wander off chasing something and then forget the route back home. Some get stolen. If a pet gets suddenly exposed to a dangerous situation in their home, they can run away in panic and never come back. A few pets get lost when the owner is shifting homes.

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