Buddy is a 10 year old, large Siamese mix. He was wearing a collar with ID tag. He had no microchip. He is indoor and outdoor with a regular routine that "a person can set their clock to" according to his people.
Buddy's normal routine is to hang out closely to his apartment in the busy and urban section of downtown Sacramento. The Capital is one block away, which includes a large four block wide city park. This park is well landscaped and maintained daily by an onsite crew. This park also gets a lot of walking traffic by local employees hanging out and doing laps around the mile long border.
The last time Buddy was seen was around 4 PM on a Monday by a neighbor. His person is usually due home from work nearby at approximately 4:30. On this day, Buddy was not at the door to meet her. I was brought in two weeks after that last Monday after his person did a thorough search of the area and put up numerous flyers. Many people knew of Buddy, but had not seen him for several days.
By having Dino find a perimeter of where Buddy's scent was found, we discovered that Buddy actually had a territory that extended throughout the park, but did not extend past the park, even though his person's work was only one more block into the middle of all concrete towers. On the other side of the apartment building, we found his territory extended for another block, and for another two blocks on both sides of the apartment building. The location is 95% apartment buildings and is highly landscaped and clean. The loud Metro train was one block away.
Buddy's scent was throughout the park, but, according to Dino's reaction, did not appear to be fresh scent. Dino's body and reaction to finding the scent is very different when finding fresh scent (up to five days) and finding older scent (more than one week). One thing that Dino was very strong on, which helped a lot in this particular case, was his indication of where scent was not. Not only does he tell me where scent is based on his following the scent, but he also will say where there is no scent so we can positively determine Buddy's boundaries and confirm that Buddy had not walked away on his own. This is different from other cat cases where we did find a track or tracks that led away from the known territory.
Based on this information that we found no track leading away from the area, and we were confident that he was not loose in his known territory, we decided upon two possibilities for Buddy's disappearance. We decided that Buddy has been involuntarily removed from the area, either driven away in a car or picked up and carried away. His person did confirm that many of the apartment buildings, including a local senior center, all allow pets, including cats. They also confirmed that Buddy was so friendly that he would allow somebody to pick him up or put him into a car.
If he had been driven away in a car, then the search would need to extend outside the local area. If he had been picked up and carried away, then the search would be local. For either way, I recommended putting up large, bright flourescent posters in front of her apartment building and going into the park and on corners stating that Buddy was still missing. We are hoping that the person who picked him up would see the posters, or somebody who saw somebody pick him up would say something. Also, I suggested to continue going door to door and handing out the flyers to let everybody know he was still missing. Also, I suggested to check out Craigslists beyond the local area in case he was driven out.
When I got home I forwarded Buddy's Lost and Pound report to two national lost animal lists.
(added to lost pet questionnaire 2/14/10)