When your pooch or kitty goes missing, call on these pet detectives
By Jackie Orozco, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Pet Search and Rescue K9 Handler Pat Totillo is an expert in human search and rescue, with 13 years of experience. She is well respected by the law enforcement community and has assisted with numerous missing persons cases.
Her K9 Tango is a certified cadaver dog, but Totillo says he seems to enjoy searching for missing pets more than anything else.
"He sees the harness," Totillo said. "And he's just ready to go, and he's so happy, and he'll just work!"
Tango couldn't sit still in front of Andrea Freedman's house in Apopka. Her cat Tink has been missing for almost a month now.
"We wanted to pull out all the stops, because we miss him terribly," Freedman said. "He's our family, so we called Pat."
"We always start at the house, and we let the dog take over from that point. The dog is only one tool that we use," Totillo explained. "We take the information the dog gives us, and then we develop search strategies."
Tango has a success rate of about 72 percent, Totillo said. "That's both deceased and alive," she added.
He helped find a 4-pound Chihuahua over the summer.
"It's kind of miraculous," said the Chihuahua's owner, Lauren Stone. "To think her being lost in the woods for two whole days!"
Pet Search and Rescue started in California eight years ago. It has expanded to a few states, including Florida.