Molly is a highly energetic, intelligent cocker spaniel. She has become a celebrity thanks to her success in detecting the whereabouts of lost companion cats. She’s been on television where she licked the presenter’s feet.
Molly learned her detection skills at a scent recognition school run by the charity Medical Detection Dogs in Milton Keynes, UK.
She was adopted by a former private detective who spent 14 years with the police force and 11 years before that with the Royal Navy. His name is Colin Butcher. He set up the successful UK Pet Detectives (UKPD).
Writing about his work on the Daily Mail Online website provides us with a nice insight into how effective Molly is in detecting lost cats.
The Case of Phoenix a Lost Bengal Cat
Here is an excellent example. The story concerns a lady whose name is “Cat”. She worked for Cats Protection. And she owned a cat! Her cat is a beautiful pedigree Bengal called Phoenix and he happened to be lost.
Cat was deeply worried and tearful because she believed that he was trapped somewhere and that he might not survive. In fact, she felt certain he was trapped. Mr Butcher agreed that he might be trapped and he was also concerned that Phoenix might have been taken away accidentally in a vehicle he had climbed into. That sort of thing happens with lost cats.
He decided to search for Phoenix by starting from Cat’s home and then spiralling outwards. He calls this a Catherine will search.
He took a sample of Phoenix’s scent by using hair from his blanket which he put into a jam jar. He held the jar to Molly’s nose. Mr Butcher has a special command in Spanish for Molly to begin her search and it is ‘Toma’. It’s in Spanish so that she won’t hear it when she isn’t working. It has become a unique word or sound for his dog.
Molly needs to work because of her boundless energy. She can work tirelessly sniffing out lost pets. Her reward at the end of a successful job are treats of black pudding pellets.
Mr Butcher set out on his Catherine wheel search with Molly. At a neighbour’s house they said that Phoenix liked to sit in the garden looking at the bird table. At another house he liked to sun himself on the patio. This is a pedigree Bengal cat wandering around the neighbourhood which might surprise a lot of American readers.
Molly wasn’t picking up any scent. But then they walked further down the lane past a large property with a high wall. Molly immediately indicated interest in the area. She started to wag her tail and her gait quickened. Mr Butcher new they were getting close.
They rang the doorbell and with difficulty persuaded a member of staff to let him and his dog into the grounds where he released Molly. She ran off very quickly “leaping acrobatically, arching her back, gauging the scent source.
Mr Butcher was getting excited himself when she veered off to the side of the garden. Molly headed for a brick built garage. He open the building’s double doors and immediately smelt cat. He couldn’t see the cat but knew he was there somewhere. Molly crouched. She was quivering and excited. It was a signal that she had found Phoenix.
They couldn’t see him in the gloom and clutter inside the garage. Then they saw an old golf bag move slightly and inside it they found a frightened Phoenix, clearly hungry and waiting to be rescued. Out came the black pudding pellets.
Molly was previously owned but they couldn’t cope with her boundless energy. She needed stimulation and now she’s got exactly what she needs. She can’t be bored because if she is she is trouble. It’s wonderful that she is anything but trouble now. She is a brilliant asset in the quest to find lost, beloved companion cats.
You can read more about her exciting adventures by clicking on this link which takes you to the Daily Mail website.