International pet detective scours Lincoln for missing dog

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — An international pet detective, a search and rescue team, a $1,000 reward and a family in tears.

Sound unusual? It’s actually more common than you may think. According to the Humane Society, nearly 10 million pets go missing in the United States every year.

Of those, 15% of dogs and 2% of cats are reunited with their owners.

International pet detective Karin Tarqwyn has helped find missing pets from Omaha, Lincoln and even Ecuador.

She volunteered for missing persons searches for years and later transferred her skills to pets.

Tarqwyn is helping the Munstermann family find their dog, Oliver, a 3-year-old cattle dog mix.

He went missing from a Lincoln Petco on Saturday.

“They say it was a freak accident,” Paige Munstermann said. “They said they put him in the kennel and he pawed his way out the door and pushed it open somehow. As they were opening the door to let a new dog in, he slipped in between their legs and ran out the front of the store.”

Shortly after, someone saw Oliver get hit by a car and limp away.

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Oliver went missing from Petco on Saturday. A $1,000 reward is being offered. Call 402-223-9184 if you have found or spotted him.

Petco released the following statement on Monday:

At Petco, the health and safety of the pets in our care is always our top priority. We’re aware of what happened in our Lincoln, NE location, and we know how distressing this experience is for Oliver’s family. We are doing everything in our power to help bring Oliver back home, including hiring a professional dog tracker and offering a reward for his safe return. We’ve remained in close communication with Oliver’s pet parent and are conducting a thorough investigation to identify any potential corrective measures that may prevent this type of situation from happening again. To increase his chances of a safe return, we encourage community members who may see Oliver to avoid approach him and please call 402-223-9184 with his location.

Tarqwyn is using a variety of standard K-9 tracking techniques that are also used on missing people.

The process includes training the K-9 to pick up the scent of the missing dog and then letting him scour the streets to alert the pet detective team when the scent is picked up.

Tarquwyn said finding missing pets is harder than you may think.

“It’s not just as simple as throwing down a tracking dog and running after it,” she said.

Sometimes, the dog needs to see his owner, or he will run away from the trackers.

Personality profiles also come into play when trying to find a missing pet or person.

Tarqwyn said Oliver is shy, aloof and skittish.

“That means that he doesn’t generally allow a stranger to approach,” she said. “So he’s not very flexible in his personality and he’s likely to bolt.”

Tarqwyn also said the community plays a pivotal role when trying to find missing pets and people. Without tips of sightings, cases can quickly go cold.

If you spot Oliver, please call 402-223-9184. Do not approach him, as he is likely to run away.

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