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May 25, 2017

Pet Detective Jamie Katz Can Bring Home Your Lost Baby

By Charles Rabin

Miami Herald

Fort Lauderdale, FL (AP) - Jamie Katz and her dad were constantly evicted from apartments. The dog barks from inside their homes were ear-splitting. The stench from litter boxes on balconies, overwhelming.

``He couldn’t say no to me,’’ said Katz. ``And I couldn’t say no to the animals.’’

That was about two decades ago and Katz, 36, still can’t say no to the animals - especially missing ones. In the past few weeks alone, Katz, who operates out of a cage-cluttered Fort Lauderdale apartment, has helped track down a French bulldog that escaped a yard and a chihuahua stolen from an animal clinic in South Miami-Dade.

Another French bulldog named Brunno went missing for 180 days - that’s 3 1/2 dog years - before Katz reunited him with owners earlier this year, a body-wagging reunion in Fort Lauderdale caught on video. And last year, she helped basketball legend Michael Jordan’s daughter find her missing Pomeranian.

Katz is a bona fide pet detective. She is a registered private eye with a degree in criminology, has trained her own dogs to catch the scent of missing pets and - arguably key to her success - has mad skills for using new and old media to spotlight her mission.

``Jamie is sharp. Jamie is amazing,’’ said Emmanuel Laboy, who got his French bulldog Bella back after two agonizing weeks. ``And most important, Bella is super happy.’’

Katz’s ability to reunite cats, dogs, parrots and even ferrets with their owners, coupled with a recent surge of positive press, has made her South Florida’s most well-known pet detective. Savvy at gaining attention, Katz isn’t shy about highlighting her name - a serendipitous homonym - to publicize her growing business.

Since creating her company less than two years ago, Katz said she’s taken on 240 cases and solved 150 of them. Most of the time, she reunites animals that have escaped homes. Stolen pets only account for about 10 percent of her business, she said.

Last year, Katz received an anonymous call and was soon helping Jasmine Jordan - the daughter of the Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer - find Mila, her missing Pomeranian Yorkie. Then, an African grey parrot named Oscar Gray was reunited with its owner after a tough negotiation.

Earlier this month Benny, a four-year-old chihuahua owned by South Miami-Dade veterinarian Juan Fernandez Bravo, was retrieved. Two women and a man had snatched Benny inside the animal clinic as Bravo and others tended to 10 rescued animals. Shortly after, Katz got a local television station to air the story, Bravo received a call saying his dog was safe. The dog was returned and Bravo paid a $1,500 reward.

Maria Bravo, the clinic office manager and wife of the veterinarian, said Benny was missing for eight days. She believes the signs made by Katz and her media savvy led to his return.

But Bravo was not entirely convinced the person who had her chihuahua and gladly accepted the $1,500 reward, had nothing to do with the dog’s abduction. Bravo, who said she gladly handed over the reward, said the man who somehow wound up with Benny was too frightened to return him to the animal clinic.

``He parked far away behind a mall,’’ she said. ``Me and my husband met him and gave him a check.’’

The case of Brunno the French bulldog, who escaped from his Fort Lauderdale home, dragged on for six months, more than enough time for many missing animal trails to grow cold. But tips after a blast of internet outreach, using community-focused social media sites like Nextdoor.com, led Katz to a home. From there, she surveilled the scene and eventually retrieved Brunno after an exchange of $5,000.

``I can find anybody,’’ said Katz. ``I love the research part of it - and I don’t give up.’’

Born in a small town named Sharon about 45 minutes outside of Boston, Katz finished high school in Baltimore. Her tracking interests started when her childhood pet cat Blackjack escaped.

Katz rode her bike all over town in search of that cat. Years later, she caught a television show called Animal Cops on the Animal Planet channel. From then on, lost pets and how to find them became an imperative.

``I never found Blackjack,’’ said Katz. ``My goal in life was then to put animals and investigations together.’’

After grade school, Katz and her dad moved to Baltimore, where she eventually earned a criminal justice degree from a community college. she said she spent the next decade working for pet rescue groups up and down the East Coast. During that time, Katz said began to focus on becoming a professional pet detective.

Getting a private investigators license in 2014 taught Katz how to do important background checks. For the next 18 months she worked as an independent contractor searching for animals. Some of that work left a bitter taste. Katz wouldn’t go into detail, saying she was involved in a legal dispute with the company she worked for.

By September 2015, Katz was finally working on her own. She created P.I. Jamie Katz LLC. Last year, her work got some coverage on public radio. But in the last month, things have really taken off. A Washington Post story two weeks ago about her company spawned a slew of calls. A Broward New Times story two days later that told of how she solved a fake kidnapping in which a dog was actually eaten by an alligator, raised her profile even higher.

During an hour-long interview recently, Katz’s cellphone filled with 10 new emails.

For many owners of missing pets, paying rewards or for help isn’t a problem. The cost of hiring Katz to find a pet: Between $305 and $605, depending on exactly what needs to be done.

For the minimum, a customer gets bright yellow signs with a picture of the lost or stolen pet that includes a phone number and the amount of any reward. The signs are set up strategically through the neighborhood. Katz will spend two weeks following up on any tips.

Some of her signs, though, have caused problems. Some of Katz’s clients, particularly in Miami-Dade, have been fined in excess of $1,000 by code enforcement. Zoning regulators say the signs are not permitted in public areas. They must be placed, with permission, on private property.

For $605, Katz will put her 3 1/2-year-old Britain Spaniel Gable and her 3-year-old terrier mix Fletcher, to work. Not long ago a search by Fletcher for a missing ferret stopped cold, telling Katz that the animal had been spirited away in a vehicle. It was eventually found in Atlanta.

Katz works out of her home, a small apartment just west of downtown Fort Lauderdale that is filled with dog cages and pictures of dogs and cats. The inside of the front door is appropriately marked and scratched up. Her Facebook page is filled with reunion videos.

Call her cellphone and if she doesn’t answer, the recording is right out of the Jim Carrey comedy Pet Detective: ``This is PI Jamie Katz. I’m on another line or on a case.’’

On Thursday afternoon, Katz was helping a Broward family in Southwest Ranches search for Cedar, a young German shepherd who lives among horses at the family farm. Gable and Fletcher stayed home, for now. So Katz sent out an online blast, inundating Nextdoor.com sites and informing her nearly 3,000 Facebook followers.

Last week, she brought finality to a convoluted search for Bella, Laboy’s French bulldog, which had escaped his Fort Lauderdale home through an open gate on April 26. Laboy said not long after he posted a notice on his local Nextdoor site about Bella, a woman contacted him saying she saw the dog for sale on Craigslist.

After a series of back and forth phone calls, Laboy and Katz showed up at Bella’s new home and bought her back for $360 - the same price paid to acquire the dog off Craigslist. Katz’s fee for her service: A well-spent $405, Laboy said.

``Jamie guided me through the entire process,’’ he said. ``It was all about, let’s get the dog back. It was well spent money and I don’t regret it one bit.’’

Elvis’ Jet Is Set To Be Sold After 30 Years On The Ground

Albuquerque, NM (AP) - A private jet once owned by Elvis is set to be auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 30 years.

GWS Auctions Inc. out of California is holding an auction for the plane on May 27 at an event featuring A-list celebrity memorabilia.

The interior was designed by Elvis Presley, with gold-tone, woodwork, inlay and red velvet seats and red shag carpet. However, the plane has no engine and the cockpit has not been restored.

Liveauctioneers.com, which is handling the bidding, says the 1962 red Lockheed JetStar was owned by Elvis and his father, Vernon Presley. It has been privately owned for 35 years and has been sitting idle on a tarmac in Roswell, New Mexico.

The plane is worth an estimated $2 million to $3.5 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Saving The World’s Great Art: The Real Monuments Men, This Week In The Civil War: Sherman In Mississippi, Folkies Recall Opening For The Beatles At Carnegie Hall In ‘64

Hoffman’s Relapse & Death Is A Tragic, Common Outcome, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting At Morton’s Ford, VA, ‘Jar Nut’s’ Collection Of Bottles Is On Display In Spencer, NC

Monuments Men: 1,000 Years Of Culture Saved From Nazis, This Week In The Civil War: The Union Campaign, Film & Museum Reveal More Realistic View Of Bonnie & Clyde, IRS Is Working To Save Tax Payers Money Through EITC

2013 Was 4th Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA, This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26, Germans’ Longing For American West Births Documentary Play, What Do Fish Poo, Fresh Berries & School Kids Have In Common?

Making Of Lone Survivor Challenging & Controversial, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, Archaeologist Seeks WWII DNA From Pacific Graveyards, Handyman Program’s ‘Angels’ Help Keep Seniors At Home

This Week In The Civil War, Originals Of The Star-Spangled Banner & Flag To Be Displayed, Our Universe At Its Infancy: Images From Hubble Telescope, 100 Years Later, The British Still Debate WWI’s Legacy

Music Therapy Organization Helps Vets Cope With PTSD, This Week In The Civil War: Winter Furloughs, Rare 1886 Michigan Lighthouse For Sale, Concern For Elves Prompts Iceland To Halt Roadway

This Week In The Civil War, New Survey Reveals US Dads Very Involved In Child Rearing, Dolphin Center Offers Course In Marine Mammal Care

Papers Stolen During Civil War Going Home To Virginia, New Vero Beach Dig: Ice Age Humans In North American?

This Week In The Civil War: Lincoln’s Restoration Plan, Oldest DNA By 100,000 Years Throws Science Into A New Era, Bird Lovers Seek Respect For Sweet Birds: Iowa Blue Chickens

Police Still Seeking Clues To TV Star’s 1957 Murder, Scrawny Stray Cat Becomes Media Star: Pete The Cat

Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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