Pet detectives join the hunt for vanished cat in Finsbury

The disappearance of a treasured pet can be traumatic for any owner.

But help is at hand for one businessman from Finsbury – after he called in a team of sleuths to find his missing moggy.

Luca Armenia has hired the very specialised skills of Animal Search UK, a pet detective agency led by a former police officer – and hopes they will reunite him with his beloved tabby Tigre, who has not been seen since August 8.

While it may be reminiscent of the plot of wacky 1990s Jim Carrey comedy film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Tigre’s disappearance is no laughing matter for Mr Armenia.

The 44-year-old, of Dingley Place, said: “I got scared after she was gone for a week, so I called them after finding out about them online.

“Tigre has been with me for five or six years and I really don’t want her to be missing or hurt, so I’m trying everything I can to find her. I’m very attached to her and I still think she’s out there somewhere and she’s fine.”

Two Animal Search UK officers visited Mr Armenia last Sunday, arriving in uniform in a marked police-style squad car equipped with walkie-talkies and torches.

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They spent five hours scouring the streets, knocking on doors and putting up eye-catching posters, displaying the number for a sightings hotline that is staffed 24 hours a day.

“They take the time to really search and talk to people,” said Mr Armenia, who runs his own business.

“It’s something anybody can do, but they take the time to do it and they think about things that I would not have thought about.

“They’re expensive – it cost me about �800 – but if Tigre turns up, it will be money well spent.”

Animal Search UK was founded by Tom Watkins, who quit the police after becoming “disillusioned with the lack of justice”.

He says that finding pets is far more rewarding than locking up miscreants and claims to have a success rate of more than 65 per cent.

Mr Watkins said: “We haven’t had any solid leads yet, but we don’t always get results straight away.

“This can be a bit of a waiting game – but the case is still wide open.”

Anyone with information on Tigre’s whereabouts should ring the 24-hour confidential helpline on 0800 432 0340 and quote case reference 39926 or search on for pet reference ALP39926.