Most ru­n­away breeds

East and Bays Courier - - LOCALJOBS - JANAN JAY

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.

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