Pet detectives are hunting in North Hollywood, Calif., for 45-pound brown and white Beagle named Gadget. The 4-year-old dog went missing last Thursday, and his owners are now offering a $2,500 reward for the return of their four-legged friend.
Ryan and Amanda Kelley said that four days ago they were in New York for a friend’s wedding when they received a call that Gadget had escaped their friend’s Los Angeles house.
“Our friend started chasing him, almost two blocks north, and then Gadget started heading east from there,” Ryan said.
Devastated by the news, the Kelley’s decided to skip the wedding and fly back to Los Angeles the next morning, then contacting pet detectives to search for Gadget.
Annalisa Berns, a pet detective for Southern California’s Pet Search and Rescue, immediately decided there was enough information to begin a search for Gadget.
“When a client contacts us, first and foremost we get as much information as we can to make sure it’s something we can help with,” said Berns. “So from there I started to call around to the pet detectives I work with, and found all three of us were available.”
Saturday morning, two of the pet detectives along with two search dogs began to look for Gadget. The hound dogs rotated every four hours and were able to pick up on Gadget’s scent, but the trail was lost at big intersections. The Kelley’s have only received one phone call on a possible sighting of Gadget, but still lack major leads.
“The emotions are all over right now, it’s really hard to handle,” said Ryan Kelley. “Right now it’s literally one moment we’ll be feeling hopeful and one moment we’re dreading the worst. It’s exhausting.”
However, Berns said owners of lost dogs should never give up hope.
“The most important thing is to be persistent and thorough,” said Berns. “There is a very high success rate for lost pets especially up to two weeks they’ve gone missing, even up to months after they’ve gone missing.”
While pet detectives can cost up to thousands of dollars depending on how far they are traveling, Kelley says he’s received an overwhelming amount of free help from the community.
“We’ve had easily 30 to 40 volunteers just here physically looking and making posters and calling shelters,” said Kelley. “We’ve also had about 10 to 20 people other places in other states giving advice.”
Berns says to avoid the heartache an owner should buy a GPS locator for their pet.
Meanwhile, the search for Gadget, who was once used in lab tests in Spain, continues.
“Knowing that he has had the past he’s had and watching him develop from a sheltered, scared animal into a dog, something with emotions, it’s been great seeing him learn that,” said Ryan.