Important Information – Please Read!
A search dog is not always the best or most useful tool when searching for a lost dog or cat and in some cases can actually be detrimental to your search. The overall success of a walk-up find (e.g. actually finding your lost pet during the search) is generally very low (sometimes as high as 20% and often as low as 5%). Be aware that this is no regulation or certification of search dogs for missing pets, and anyone can call their dog a search dog even with little or no training. I have worked with the individuals listed below on a limited basis or not at all so I can’t offer specific recommendations of one over the other or vouch for their services. However, in general I would recommend people that have completed the Missing Animal Response (MAR) technician training.
Before hiring a search dog team, I would recommend reading these articles:
- How Search Dogs Work – explains how they work and when they are most useful.
- Before You Hire a Search Dog – don’t waste your money on an untrained search dog! Learn how to find a competent pet detective or pet tracker.
- Using a Search Dog to Track an Outdoor-Access Cat – describes the challenges of tracking an outdoor-access cat and the limitations of the search dog.
- When NOT to Use a Search Dog to Track a Lost Dog – explains the situations when using a search dog can actually be detrimental to finding a lost dog.
Disclaimer: Lost Pet Research & Recovery (LPRR) makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the lost pet services provided by these individuals, and LPRR expressly disclaims all liability for damages or loss of any kind arising out of the use or performance of services provided by these search dog teams. It should be understood that only a small percentage of lost pets (generally less than 20% and often as low as 5%) are located during the search with the search dog, and in many cases, other search techniques may be more effective than using a search dog.
Search Dog Teams in the Northeast US
SMART is a non-profit group offering phone consultations. Most SMART members have taken the Missing Animal Response Technician course provided by Missing Pet Partnership or the Missing Animal Response Network. Last I knew, SMART was not offering on-site searches due to injuries of search dog handlers.
Lisa started her business in 2011 after training with Lost Pet Professionals. This company includes multiple tracking dogs and several search dog handlers in addition to the owner. Willing to travel throughout the northeast if available.
A non-profit group offering tracking services in MA, NH and ME, but their actual location is unclear. It looks like they only search for lost dogs. Their website was down last time I checked, but you can contact them via their Facebook page.
Amy is a trained Missing Animal Response Technician through the Missing Animal Response Network. She started her business in 2014 and provides phone consultations, physical searches, posters, cameras and humane traps, primarily in the Boston area. She has a cat detection dog, but does not have any scent-specific tracking dogs.
Sam started her business in 2015. She has a scent-specific tracking dog and will generally only work scent trails less than one week old. Services are generally available in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Linda has a scent-specific tracking dog and searches for lost cats and dogs in New England. May have started in 2015.
Sharon MorrisPhone: (603) 848-7119Email: ehmslm (at) comcast.netLocation: Concord, NH
Sharon is a Missing Animal Response Technician through the Missing Animal Response Network. She offers volunteer consultations, on-site searches with search dog, trap and camera rental, and assistance trapping in New Hampshire.
Jamie used to operate a dog training business and offer volunteer lost pet searches (as Rhode Island Pet Trackers) since 2009 or earlier. He has several scent-specific tracking dogs that he often works off leash. In general they only work scent-trails that are less than 10 days old.
Lisa RobinsonPhone: 802-755-6331Email: allcritters (at) wildblue.netLocation: northern Vermont
You can read an article here about her experience finding lost pets. May not currently be available for on-site assistance due to knee surgery.
Sam has been tracking lost pets for more than a decade. She is a Missing Animal Response Technician through the Missing Animal Response Network. Though not located in New England, Sam is often willing to travel long distances. They might be a good option if you are located in New Jersey or southern New York.
Last updated: 7/1/20