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Babs, the detective who finds missing dogs in California: “It’s all a matter of smell”

from Michele Farina

Having lost and recovered her beloved terrier, she has become the most generous hound of missing animals. Hundreds of cases solved (free of charge) in 7 years

Not a job for her, but a passion: Recovery of lost dogs. It takes a special flair, patience, good teachers and the ability to identify with a four-legged dog who wants to go home.

A way home

Babs Fry has all the qualities to be a great pet detective, perhaps the best in America, certainly the most generous (she doesn’t ask for a penny). The Los Angeles Times he reckons he has found hundreds, perhaps thousands of dogs in Southern California and beyond. Ms. Fry made a name for herself with social media and word of mouth. The non-profit association he created, A way home for dogs, receives 50 requests for help a day. They call it since Australia. She has 11 helpers, volunteers like her. On average he manages five searches at the same time. He owns a ranch in Jamul, outside San Diego, and a larger one (22 acres) in Texas where he would like to create an animal sanctuary. Finally, Babs also has a husband, who runs a charter helicopter company and who sees little, when not engaged in rescue operations that lead her to sleep in the van for days (for each search it takes a month).

The pregnant dog

The good version of the grim dog catcher of Lady and the Tramp: Babs’ tale begins seven years ago, when her pregnant terrier disappears. After having alerted half the world and toured halfway California having lost all hope, Babs is contacted by pet detective Ann Bidinger, who we imagine (remember Pulp Fiction?) As a sort of Mr Wolf: I’m the dog lady, I solve problems. Ten days mouse, the terrier safe and sound in a cage in front of the house. Babs was so relieved that she set out on a mission: to bring the same joy to the thousands who lose their dogs. Finding them can also be a matter of luck. But most of the time it is the result of the reasoned search for a good hound.

The mistake not to make

The instinctive reaction of crushed masters, turning in a car and passing the territory inch by inch, is not the best solution: Often we end up spreading our smell all over the place and this does nothing but disorient the dog and make him lose track. Babs al Los Angeles Times. Yes, because dogs that run away from home (perhaps due to chaos during a party) or from a holiday pension, when they try to return to base they do it mostly with their nose. Here, the first mistake not to make humans think. You have to think (and even better to smell) like a dog. The hound Babs Fry very good at putting herself in the shoes (in the fur) of the missing person on duty. Second mistake: don’t get scared. Out there, dogs quickly learn to survive as strays: Don’t worry, they’re not starving, explains Babs. Finding a missing dog often means spreading the word, collecting reports, and then catching the missing one with a cage-trap that contains a garment with a smell of home. To retrieve Penny, the last documented rescue of her long career, Babs used her brother Truman’s blanket. After 34 days, Penny was found. She had lost age of her weight, but was in good health. Another notch, another gift from America’s most generous pet detective.

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