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Nine to Fido: Real Life Pet Detective

Tom-Animal-Search.jpg

In this month's Nine to Fido, we chat to real-life pet detective Tom Watkins, Founder of pet search agency Animal Search UK about his job as a Missing Pet-Search Coordinator.

Describe a typical working day
I'm either in the office or out in the field. If office based, at our search HQ in Hereford city centre, most of my day is taken up with responding to emails and phone calls from concerned owners of lost pets. Once I’m caught up with my correspondence, I then update up to 100 newly reported daily lost pets on our website. Alternatively we have a search day where we travel to different parts of the UK and carry out investigations into lost and stolen pets rather like the police would for a missing person. This involves publicity, door-to-door enquiries, searches, media interviews on local radio and occasionally local and national TV news programmes.

Have your always been a pet-search coordinator?
No I started out as a police officer after leaving school and also worked as a volunteer for Cats Protection amongst other things.

What made you decide to become a pet-search coordinator?
I wanted to combine my skills and passion - investigation work and pets while helping people at the same time – I love it!

What training/qualifications do you need to be a pet-search coordinator?
I don’t have any as such but obviously my police background has been a massive help. To get on you need good common sense to approach to problems and situations, an inquisitive mind and a passion to succeed.

What are the pros and cons of your job? 
The pros are most definitely re-uniting a family and changing their lives from the moment you discover their pet’s whereabouts. The downside is when you have to break the sad news to an owner that their pet won’t be coming home when they say been involved in a road accident.

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What do you find the most rewarding about your dog-job? 
I love being my own boss and being able to have my dog Paris at my feet during the day with no one to complain about having a dog in the office.

What has been your most memorable doggie moment? 
Rescuing a Sheltie sheepdog called Spencer after eight days and nights - and the largest hunt ever seen in central England. We reunited him in April 2011; the adventure and whole search was featured on a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary shown on TV in August 2011.

What advice would you give to someone interested in doing the same job as you? 
Volunteer for a pet charity to demonstrate dedication, buy some binoculars and email your CV to me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Watkins and his team of pet detectives can be found on:
Web: Animalsearchuk.co.uk
Facebook: 
animalsearchuk
Twitter: 
@animalsearchuk

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