Thank You for visiting our Praise for Pet Detectives testimonials page. Below are just a few comments left about our MARN Trained Pet Detectives out in the field. Please feel free to submit your own experience. We look forward to hearing from you and again thank you.
By Grace Alone
Tracey is a naturally gifted pet detective, mentor, and friend. Her passion for locating missing animals is evident when you work with her. She is motivated, driven, and focused on the MAR techniques essential to successfully and humanely recovering beloved missing pets.
Recently, we worked together to capture a male mixed breed hound named Fred (who supposedly jumped the fence at a boarding facility no less than an hour after being dropped off). His family was leaving for an extended vacation to Europe and although saddened to leave the country without knowing if their beloved Fred was safe – they boarded their flight to Europe 24 hours later. Frantic neighbors of Fred’s owners jumped into action with an active search. Although, there were many possible sightings – sadly, none were confirmed. Connected to one of the neighbors on Facebook I offered to help. And, all of the sudden I was connected to a group of 10 women via text that I had never met. Neighbors saw him but, when they called his name and/or tried to approach he ran every time. None of the ideas sat right with me.
The next day I swung by McDonalds, purchased plain cheeseburgers, and drove to the location with the most sightings. I sat quietly with my dog Zoey waiting for Fred. Burgers and fries laid out in a huge semicircle around my car. The bag was on my roof. I had no idea what I was doing but I prayed my plan would work.
It was an extremely hot and muggy day. I was getting incredibly bored. After, an hour I pulled out my iPad and started to read. Three and half hours later I looked up from my iPad saw Fred 50 feet away eating the cheeseburger I swallowed the lump in my throat and pulled out my iPhone. I began taking pictures of Fred as he ate. I sent pictures to the group text. Harmoniously, all 10 responses were “Fred!” I now had a positive ID. He had his eyes solidly fixed on my car. Fred slowly walked to the next cheeseburger which was 50 feet away from my side doors. Zoey stared at him, sniffed, and watched. I could tell by her body language Fred would bolt if my feet ever touched the ground. Very softly I said, “hi buddy.” Then, Fred walked back into the woods.
A woman named Tracey texted me to call her. As soon as she answered the phone she asked, “Are you MAR trained?” Not sure what MAR was I replied, “No.” She then asked a series of investigative questions: “Was this your first sighting?”, “Where have your sightings been?”, “What date/time of day was the sighting?”, “Do you know if Fred has any food allergies?”, “What is Fred’s temperament?” I answered Tracey’s questions as best I could. She then asked me what my schedule was like and we agreed to meet 2 days later at location I took the pictures of Fred.
Two days later, I met Tracey. She was so informative, helpful, and focused. She pointed me to the MAR website and recommended I buy window markers to “tag” my car so neighbors knew why I was there. She also recommended I purchase bug spray, sun screen, pheromone spray, a cooling towel, and a battery operated fan. But, in the meantime she loaned all of these items to me while we laid out a plan.
While standing by a chain link fence the homeowner came to speak with us. We learned Fred most often came up the path from the creek in between her and her neighbor’s yard. This had been a daily occurrence for the last couple of days and was most often between 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The homeowner agreed to let us use her fenced in yard and we strategized our next steps. We first needed to see if Fred would come through the open gate into her fenced in back yard. We laid out a couple of cheeseburgers about 12 feet within the fence line and waited. Fred did not show. An hour later, a false report came in that there was a sighting 3 miles south. Everyone became concerned because Fred appeared to have left his current radius. Another hour later, the neighbor texts Tracey and I that Fred came for the burger and is inside the fence line. What a relief. Tracey instructed the homeowner to throw some meat on the grill to keep him in the area. Fred returned to the neighbor’s yard several times that night.
The next day Tracey and I met up early in the day. I pulled my camping grill out of my SUV and set it up in the neighbor’s backyard. It was July 4th weekend and we were competing with the smell of burgers coming from the Falls Lake Recreation Area about a mile from the neighbor’s house. So, when the boiling water was ready I broke apart raw venison dog food patties and hotdogs and put them into the boiling water. Within 30 minutes the smell of venison was permeating the air. Tracey moved the neighbor’s canoe to a location in the yard that would prevent Fred from running by it. Then we cleaned up our gear and put it inside as not to distract Fred. I was originally planning to go back home to get Zoey since we knew Fred was dog friendly – we were going to use her to lure Fred into the yard if the food didn’t work. But, Tracey felt Fred would come earlier that day so we took our positions. Tracey was by the front fence holding on lead that would pull the side fence gate shut when I gave the signal. I took shelter in the basement. We waited.
I picked up my phone and was about to text Tracey that sometimes Fred comes up through the front fence when I noticed someone was composing a text. “I hear something coming. Get ready.” I continued to wait. Then another text, “OMG … he’s staring right at me.” What?! “He’s sniffing me,” the text continued. A big sigh left my body. Tracey, knowing that Fred was a runner sat quietly while Fred sniffed her. She slowly turned her head away from Fred and looked up the street. She was ignoring him. Fred lost interest and walked down the hill to the side gate. I watched him through the basement window. He was slowly eating the food we set out “Hansel and Gretel” style just outside the gate. A breeze picked up carrying the odor of venison and hotdogs through the air. We placed a large plate of the boiled meat on a rope swing in a tree by the gate. I was praying this plan would work.
It felt like hours had passed by the time Fred approached the gate. “Get ready,” Tracey texted. I stood up and walked to the basement door. It was open. I sat in the doorway watching Fred. Once he was a good twenty feet inside the fenced in back yard I slowly stepped forward onto the back deck. I wanted Fred to focus on me. I text Tracey, “NOW!” I watched the gate slowly close behind Fred and Tracey quietly snuck down the hill as I slowly continued to walk forward on the deck. Fred was gazing at me the whole time.
I stepped off the porch toward Fred. He picked his head up looked toward the gate and saw Tracey. He darted to the back right corner of the yard. I walked straight down to the fence line blocking Fred’s path. He ran up the hill. Tracey was to Fred’s left and I was to his right. He stopped to go to the bathroom. I squatted as best I could with a bad knee, reached out to pet him with my left hand with my slip lead in the other. He darted to the front left corner of the fenced in yard. I walked diagonally toward Fred and stopped right in front of the neighbor’s chicken coop. I was on the low portion of the hill in the middle of the yard. Tracey grabbed her snappy snare and stood just out of sight of Fred by the basement deck. Fred bolted again. He ran diagonally across the yard in front of me. I yelled, “Tracey here he comes … closer … closer … NOW!” Swoosh. Tracey had him in the snappy snare. He yelped with freight and tried to run. He jumped on the porch and tried to go right. I jumped in front of him. He tried to go straight. I jumped in front of him again … waving my arms. He put his head down and walked into the neighbor’s basement.
Once inside Tracey removed the snare from around Fred’s neck. He quickly rolled over on his back and stretched with his bright pink belly sticking straight up into the air. We gave Fred food and water and he gulped everything down. Shortly after Fred had the hiccups and we noticed he was having trouble swallowing. I quickly checked his collar. Tracey had him double leashed with slip leads, the basement door was now closed, so I took his collar off. Fed continued to relax. He licked us. Lay on us. Rubbed his nose against us tail wagging the whole time.
After Fred had some time to decompress we invited the neighbor and her children downstairs to meet Fred. He crawled up into the neighbor’s lap and gave her great big wet sloppy kisses as way of thanking her for letting us use her basement. We loaded Fred up. Stopped by Walgreens on the way home to pick up some electrolytes and took him to a neighbor’s house for the night.
Tracey sat with Fred in makeshift fencing that was attached to a crate. He nuzzled her, licked her, and nudged her. Once another neighbor arrived we left to get Tracey’s car. We parted ways and both headed for home. It was a 10 hour event. I was exhausted.
Tracey recommended MAR training to me. Although I was hesitant at first I glanced at the MAR site for several hours. Trying to determine which course was for me. I had a lot of questions. Tracey got the answers I needed and I was ready to dive deeper. So, I listened to Kat’s book on audible. Wow! Was all I could think. I need to learn more about this MAR training. So, the next day I listened to another book on the site’s reading list called “Cormac.” Wow!
I felt so misinformed about what really happens in a dog’s life when they go missing. I wanted to help any way I could.
More recently, there was a case that tugged at my conscience. The details are cryptic so I won’t try to explain it. Tracey had already determined there wasn’t much more we could for the missing dog. There weren’t any confirmed sightings, pertinent information was difficult to decipher from the owner, family members weren’t helping with the search, there was no supporting physical evidence, and local volunteers were lying to us about what had and had not been done as part of the search. As a rookie, I felt like I needed to go look one last time. Tracey encouraged me to follow my instincts. When nothing new resulted from my search I felt defeated. Certainly there was something I could do. But the reality was – there wasn’t. Tracey guided me through some investigative questions to get me to realize we were too close to this case to see the truth. She pointed out that making mistakes is how we learn and grow. And, that over time … with MAR training I would have the tools I needed to be successful.
In closing, I would like to thank both Tracey and Kat for changing my life. I cannot tell you both how grateful that I am that God enabled us to cross paths. Your insight, honesty, knowledge, and grace have made me realize there truly are animal heroes out there — and they are doing everything they can to educate people and make the world a better place for our pets.
God Bless you both,
Susan to the Rescue
Susan Long quite simply saved the day.
There is so much emotional baggage tied up in that dumb, lovable, exasperating dog (and now he’s even more expensive).
From the moment Susan answered the phone, she was all in on our behalf, arriving a few hours later to galvanize us into action.
Oliver was found within 24 hours and it was directly related to her efforts, both with the scent dogs and with the fluorescent flyer blasting we did, driving through neighborhoods with cars covered in blinding colorful posterboards. Really, election officials could learn from this.
Susan was both completely professional and compassionate, never once pointing out to us how dumb we were, but always supportive.
It was such a relief to get Oliver back. He actually “belongs” to a girl in Florida and a young man in another part of Texas. Oliver is their link. So we are glad to have him back.
On June 30th, 2018 I was devastated to find out that Tashi, my 1-and-a-half-year-old Lhasa Apso, got loose at the Granville North Carolina rest stop, from a dog transporter who was supposed to drive him from our old home in Northern VA to our new home in Tampa, FL. The County Humane Society, Animal Control, and many kind volunteers were on the lookout for him. I normally am not a huge fan of social media, but in this case, his LOST DOG Facebook post got shared to several hundred others within hours. Groups were on the lookout for Tashi with multiple sightings, but any time someone would get close to my little guy, he would sprint and run away, a few times over the dangerous I-85 highway, which still makes me cringe to this day.
On July 2nd, I received a call from Ms. Tracey Dreibelbis, who I quickly came to recognize as a true God send. Since I live hundreds of miles away from where Tashi was lost, Tracey’s continuous updates, immense knowledge of these types of situations, and professional demeaner really calmed my nerves and gave me more hope. Through her unsurpassed skills, expertise, and total heartfelt care and commitment for the wellbeing of animals, she was able to sing her way into Tashi’s little heart and safely rescue him…..and I literally mean “sing”, in which the actual video of Tashi’s capture is posted on her page! Tracey’s goal was to rescue Tashi before the fireworks went off on July 4th, which I’m sure could have been too traumatic for Tashi to handle at this point. Well, on July 3rd, I got that call from her…..my little guy was safely in Tracey’s back car seat, with pictures she sent me to verify. My family and I were crying with joy that our baby was going to be back home with us soon. I almost couldn’t believe it after the painful days of waiting and wondering.
Not only did Ms. Tracey Dreibelbis safely rescue my little boy, but she and her husband cared (and spoiled) him, like Tashi was one of their own, for over a week until I could find another dog transport. That is love and true commitment to which I’ve called her the “dog whisperer”.
My family and I are truly grateful to all the volunteers who kept eyes on Tashi, but mostly to an amazing woman, Tracey Dreibelbis, who ultimately rescued Tashi. There are not enough words to express our gratitude toward her.
If anyone needs an animal rescue in the Granville County area, please let Tracey help. Through this experience with Tashi, I would not second guess any of her skills or her love and commitment to what I believe she was meant to do.
It Takes A Village
I met Tracey Dreibelbis on day seven trying to catch Fred whom had escaped from my neighbor’s boarding facility. She was very professional and informed me of Fred’s patterns over the past few days. She came up with a plan to catch Fred using my fenced in yard. We baited my yard with McDonald cheese burgers and she recommended us to grill out on night seven. We did as instructed by Tracey and Fred showed to eat. I was able to take pictures of him. Tracey explained we wanted to build trust with Fred.
On day 8 of Fred’s jail break, Tracey & helper were at my house to create the enclosure with ropes, leads, any and every type of dog treats known; liver, hotdogs, & venison. They spent 2 to 3 hours baiting and setting up how to trap Fred in the least restrictive way. Tracey’s plan included using my backyard fence to trap him and then corralled him into my basement to feed and calm Fred.
Fred showed that evening to eat again. It only took 16 min from that sighting to have him safely in my basement. With the quick capture he did not show any signs of stress due to the capture. Tracey texted myself and helper each step along the way, so everyone knew their part and what to expect. I walked downstairs after Tracey had time to evaluate him, Fred was laying on his back and licking everyone hands & arms. Tracey’s compassion for these animals is seen throughout every step of the capturing process.