First Private Investigation agency in Florida specializing exclusively in reuniting lost cats and dogs with their loved ones


PET PI Lost Pet Specialists

K9 Tango

How the Search Dog Works

The following information should be reviewed prior to making the decision to use our Search Dog Service:

A search dog is a very specific tool that might not be suitable for all missing pet situations. As with most projects getting your pet home may be one of the most challenging projects you have faced and multiple tools may be required in order to be successful. 

It is important to have a scent specific article.This is an item that has ONLY the scent of your missing pet. Best options for a scent article is something that has come in direct contact with your pet: bedding, collar, harness, hairbrush, toy and pet clothes.  If you have multiple pets, it is imperative that the scent article not be contaminated with another pet’s scent! The search dogs can distinguish between multiple scents but if your other pet’s scent is in the area being searched it makes it very difficult to determine which scent the search dog is alerting to.

The search dog will start at the last known place you witnessed your pet. The search dog will attempt to find the direction of travel; this is which way the pet went. If the search dog establishes the direction of travel he will attempt to follow the trail. The search dog will not trail long distances. The purpose of using the search dog is to help locate the area your pet has traveled through and possibly the area your pet may be residing.

In cases where the search dog is not able to pick up the pet’s trail, the search dog does what is called an area search to look for the scent of your pet. The search dog does NOT usually walk up and find a pet unless the pet is deceased. In the case of living pets, the search dog is trained not to get close enough to frighten the pet and force the pet out of the hiding place but there is the possibility that this could happen.  

The goal for using the search dog should be to locate the area your pet is in. At that point instruction will be provided as to what methods should be used to safely get your pet home. This may involve the use of more signage, talking to neighboring home owners, use of wild life cameras and in certain situations trapping. If you are unable to follow through with the instructions provided either on your own or by hiring us to provide this service for you, the use of a search dog may not be your best option. Using the search dog alone will most likely not result in getting your pet home.

The average search will last up to two hours with breaks. The search dog can only work a limited amount of time and that is governed by terrain and temperatures, when the search dog has reached its limit or has done all he can, the search will be concluded. Trying to push the search dog beyond his limits will only result in information that will be of no value in your search.

Valuable information the search dog may provide:

  • Your pets initial direction of travel
  • If your pet is still in the area
  • If a reported sighting is truly your pet
  • Evidence that something detrimental may have happened to your pet

Our main goal is to help you find your pet, we offer the Search Dog service to assist you in finding your pet and hope to provide you with useful information to aid you in your search, unfortunately we can make no predictions or guarantees on how the search will go or the outcome.  

The fee for the Search Dog service regardless of the result is $400.00 plus round-trip mileage fee to your location from our location in Ormond Beach and the appropriate Florida State & County Taxes

To begin with our services please complete and submit the following form specific to your situation:

We will contact you as quickly as possible to discuss the services best suited to help find your pet.
(Contact time may be delayed while working active cases or in an area without cell/data coverage)

Pat Totillo is a founding member of K9 Search & Rescue of Orange City Fl.  K9SAROC, is a non-profit organization established in 2002, dedicated to help finding missing persons and specializing in recovery missions.  

Pat and her canines have worked with Law Enforcement Agencies across the state and has been deployed on missions across the country. Pat's canines have been proven extremely reliable.

Pat is an evaluator and certifier for the National Association for Search & Rescue for both people and canines and has provided instruction at various search and rescue seminars throughout the country.  She has certified three canines through multiple national organizations, is a CGC evaluator for American Kennel Club and has obtained certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Licensed Private Investigator #CC1400381


K9 Search Service provided to most areas located within this RED circle

PET PI K9 Search Dog service area

K9 Olivia

 Search Dogs providing help to find a lost cat or lost dog in Central Florida

Pet Detective Private Investigators
Search Dogs for Lost Pet
Located in Volusia County Florida

Lost pet professional's aiding in the safe recovery of lost or missing cats and dogs. Pet PI Investigator's endeavor to bring each lost pet home, unfortunately we cannot guarantee that every pet will be found.

PET PI Search Dog Olivia
PET PI Search Dog Tango


K9 Handler ~ Licensed PET PI Pet Private Investigator Patricia Totillo

PET PI Investigator Patricia Totillo with K9 Tango