Questions and Answers

Sniffing out missing pets is a complex business. Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions



1. Why should I bother to sign my pet up as a member?
There is a 1 in 3 chance that your pet will go missing.  If your pet has been missing before, the chance of them going missing again escalates.  Membership with Inspector Spot acts as a form of insurance.  For $20 per year, you can sleep at night knowing that if your pet goes missing we will help to find them free of charge.  Members access our Platinum Lost Pet Alert service (valued at $250) for free.  And there is no limit on how many times you use this service.

2. Do I need to join Inspector Spot before my pet goes missing?

To access our services free of charge, your pet must have been signed up with us for 30 days or more.  If your pet has been a member for less than 30 days, a search fee will apply.

Does membership with Inspector Spot replace microchipping?
No!  Inspector Spot helps to find lost pets, but microchips are used to identify who they are when they’re found.  It’s important to microchip your pets and ensure your details are kept up to date with the microchip registry.

Lost and Found Pet Alerts

1. There are plenty of free lost and found websites and social media pages. Why should I use you?
Inspector Spot is not just a website.  In fact, what you see when you visit our site is approximately 1% of what we do.  We are the only organisation in New Zealand that provides the expertise of a US Certified Pet Detective who has specialist knowledge in recovering missing pets.  Unlike other websites, we do not just send your pet’s photograph out randomly.  We provide you with specialised advice on the techniques you need to use to successfully recover your missing pet.

2. But I can get free information on how to find my pet on the internet. Why should I pay for your advice?
There is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet, published by people who have not trained and gained certification as a Pet Detective.  A lot of this information puts pets at risk by recommending techniques that force them further away from home or encourage other pets to come into their territory.  We have trained with a former US Police Detective and provide advice that is backed up by decades of research into the way missing pets behave.  By all means, you can take a risk with free information from the internet but be aware that a lot of this information may put your pet at risk.

3. Why isn’t your service free?
Our entry level services are completely free of charge, but we do not receive any Government funding or grants so we need to cover the costs of providing a team that is qualified to track down missing pets.  It’s a little like taking your pet to the vet.  You can either pay to see a qualified veterinarian or get free advice from someone who is making things up as they go along.

4. Do you provide a guarantee?
Yes.  We provide a money back guarantee for our Lost Pet Alerts.  If you implement all the steps in the guide we send you and are dissatisfied with the quality of our support then you can request a refund within seven days.  It is important to note that our services are not a “set and forget” system.  There are tools and techniques you will need to implement in order to find your missing pet, so we will request evidence that you have implemented the advice we have provided before processing your refund.

5. Can’t I just offer a reward?
We do not recommend offering a reward for the return of your pet.  Research shows that offering a reward is less effective than simply asking people to help you track them down.  And sadly rewards can encourage people to take pets in order to profit from their return.

6. My pet has been missing for a long time. Can you still help?
Yes.  We have recovered pets that have been missing for up to six years.  Even if your pet has been missing for some time, we can help.

7. My pet is microchipped. Why do I need to use you?
Microchips are not designed to find missing pets.  They simply identify them when they have been found.  A microchip requires someone to notice your pet, successfully catch them, take them to the vet, have them scanned, pick up your details from the microchip registry and call you.  That is a lot of steps which people often don’t bother to take.  Microchips can also fail – particularly if they have been used in a microchip compatible cat door or feeder.  They can move, which means your pet may be scanned and their microchip may not be picked up.  And, if your contact details are not correct at the time your pet is scanned you will not be contacted.  It is not enough to go back and correct your details if your pet has already been scanned for a chip.

8. My pet has a collar and tag. Why do I need to use you?
Again, collars and name tags are not used to find missing animals.  They are used to identify them after they have been found.

9.  I’ve found a pet.  Does it cost me to send out a Found Pet Alert?
No.  Our Found Pet Alerts are completely free of charge.

10.  Do you have real live Pet Detectives searching for lost pets?
Inspector Spot is run by a genuine, US Certified Pet Detective.  At present we provide a virtual service rather than physically coming out to search for your pet.  Instead, we provide you with the tools you need to track your pet down, including getting people in your neighbourhood on the lookout for your pet.  By engaging people in your neighbourhood we get many sets of eyes looking, and can track your pet down much more cost effectively than if we send a qualified Pet Detective out to visit you.

11.  So if you don’t physically conduct the search for me, how does it work?
Depending on the level of service you choose, you will receive a consultation with a Certified Pet Detective.  You will be asked to fill in a questionnaire that provides us with detailed information on your pet’s circumstances.  Our Certified Pet Detective will use this information to profile your pet, pinpoint where they are most likely to be and map out a search strategy for your pet.  They will then be on hand to provide virtual assistance as you implement that search strategy.  The preliminary search strategy is delivered to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding public holidays.

12. How quickly is my Lost or Found Pet Alert sent out?
Instantly.  There is no human intervention required, so your Alert will go out immediately.

13. How many people will receive my Lost or Found Pet Alert?
The number of people who receive your Alert will vary from region to region depending on the time of day, the number of people who are online, and the number of people who have signed up to receive Pet Alerts.  This varies wildly so it is difficult to tell you exactly how many people will be looking out for your pet.

14.  Do only those people who “Like” Inspector Spot’s Facebook page receive your Pet Alerts?
No.  We reach an enormous number of people over and above those who are registered with us on Facebook.  We utilise paid advertising tools to ensure each Alert goes out to a much larger number of people than are registered with us.

How Does Your Money Back Guarantee Work?
We stand by the quality of the expertise we provide when a pet goes missing, so Inspector Spot’s Lost Pet Alerts are backed by a Money Back Guarantee.  If you implement our advice and are dissatisfied with the expertise provided, we will provide a full refund.

There are three conditions that you need to bear in mind when requesting a refund:

1. To be eligible for a full refund, you must submit your request to [email protected] within seven days of purchasing your Lost Pet Alert.

2. We will ask you for verification that you have implemented the advice we have provided you with. Inspector Spot’s services are not a “set and forget” product.  There are tools you need to implement to ensure the safe return of your pet.  If you are not committed to implementing the advice we provide, we do not recommend using our services.

3. There is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet which can put your pet at risk. We require our customers to consult with us before implementing advice that is not provided by our team as this may prevent your pet from returning home safely.

Inspector Spot