In my most recent novel, Silent Partner, one aspect of the story revolves around the relationship that exists between a deputy and his canine partner. There is no doubt that dogs play an essential role in many crime investigations, from determining the location of smuggled goods in an international shipment to bringing an alleged murderer out of the shadows and into a courtroom. But, when dogs are in need of someone to search for them, who will step up and offer that reciprocal dedication? In Ohio, that person is Jim Berns.
Mr. Berns is a woodshop teacher at the University of Cincinnati who also is a professional pet detective. He employs his knowledge of animal tracking and animal behavior to locate lost animals throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. His efforts have been featured on the Disney Channel and he claims around a fifty percent success rate in bringing a beloved animal member of the family home, which is a wonderful statistic considering how many pets go missing every year.
One of only a handful of people trained in this field, Berns and his hounds handle around 150 cases every year. He begins by putting up signs that he creates across the neighborhood and then setting off across streets, fields, and forests to find the missing animal. Berns started this second line of work following a request from his daughter, who runs her own pet search and rescue business in California. They now are able to expand their efforts to reunite pet with owner in quite a few states across the country.
My dogs mean the world to me and I know the feelings of sadness and fear when a beloved pet cannot be found. I love that there are men out there like Jim Berns who make it a mission in life to end the heartache for so many families.
* * *
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting