No, this isn’t a person moon-lighting as Jim Carrey’s character Ace Ventura and no this is not a joke scene from a movie script, which is what came to mind (my mind at least) when I first came across this story! What we have here is a very real person doing a very real thing.
Freelance private detective Mark Gibney has offered his tracking devices to a couple in Britain to help find their two pet dogs that the couple believes were kidnapped from them. Like I said just a second ago, my immediate thought about this was that it seemed a little like a story we ran a few weeks ago about a woman who was the Bounty Hunter of cats. (Cats. I kid you not.) But then I started thinking about the pets I’ve had in my lifetime and how much a part of the family they had become, and I know that if our bulldog Blinix went missing, it’d be as if my mom or any other family member was missing. And when I realized this, I definitely changed my tune of “Oh, a couple had their dogs stolen,” to, “These poor elderly people’s dogs were kidnapped!”
So, enlisting the aid of PI Gibney, they have sought to find a two-year-old lurcher, Chillie and four-year-old shih-tzu Betty. And, as it turns out, while doing my research for this article, it came to my understanding that dog theft in Hampshire (a city in Britain) has become a lucrative trade with Yorkshire terriers, Chihua-huas, Labradors and lurchers among those being stolen, and that this was even pretty common here in the states. (Dog fights and black market puppy selling anyone?!) Fee’s for Dog Detectives can even run a person thousands of dollars and there are now several US agencies dedicated to using special dog units to sniff out clues and follow trails. I’m sure he has a great market, but I’m going to stick to tracking out stories and staying away from the backyard mine fields.