Most runaway breeds
A warning to those who own a husky or agile ocicat, these are the pets most likely to go missing in New Zealand, says the country’s first official pet detective, Megan Denize.
Auckland-based Denize said dogs with significant exercise requirements were the most likely to do a runner.
‘‘Huskies and Alaskan malamutes are programmed to walk many miles a day and will venture a lot further if they go missing,’’ Denize said.
She said historically, dogs were nomadic and have travelled the world for hundreds of years.
‘‘When they go missing, it’s because they’ve been presented the opportunity to escape.’’
However, with cats, it was all in the body shape.
‘‘Persians and British shorthairs are cobby breeds, and more pear-shaped,’’ Denize said.
‘‘Cats that are more rounded have been bred to sit on the laps of royalty and tend to be homebodies.’’
However, more athletic looking felines
‘‘Rescue shelters believe one in three pets go missing around the world. ’’ Megan Denize
with angular features such as the ocicat, are natural hunters, and were more likely to expand their territories.
‘‘They are super adventurous, and this makes them more likely to get locked in places, like a shed. They will want to explore and pop their head into a open van, or hop onto the back of a ute.’’
‘‘It is literally a case of ‘curiosity killed the cat’,’’ she said.
Using her knowledge of over 300 breeds of dogs and cats, Denize set up Inspector Spot, where a mix of Csi-style profiling, social media, and facial recognition software helped owners track down their family pets. She officially launched it this week.
Denize said rescue shelters believe one in three pets go missing around the world.
According to the New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC), 64 per cent of households have at least one pet. Cats were the most commonly lost pet. Felines were more independent and you would rarely see a dog without an owner, Denize said. Most get lost after a house move. Denize said if people were moving, they should keep their cats indoors for a month so they could adjust to their new surroundings.
As for dogs, limit their map of the surrounding area.