Women’s World Magazine

25September2001

PET DETECTIVE

Melody Pugh carefully slips

Under a dank crawl space, searching the blackness. She’s been working for 12 hours straight and won’t make any money for her trouble. But the cries of joy, purrs of thanks and wags of delight she’ll get make everything Worthwhile…

Lost a pet? Call Melody!

Three years ago, Bremerton , Washington animal lover Melody Pugh was inconsolable. Following a routine visit to the vet, her beloved cat Norman , had leapt from her car...and disappeared. Frantic, Melody and her husband, Gary, posted fliers, knocked on doors and trudged countless miles- but couldn’t find Norman .

Yet the more she searched, the more people she met who were missing pets, too. “Would you take this picture...just in case you see my cat?” people asked. Seeing the heartbroken looks in their eyes, Melody had to help.

And incredibly, she turned out to have a real knack for it-because she found Norman ... plus 27 other animals!

“I can’t believe it – I never thought we’d see Cherri again,” one sobbing cat owner told Melody. “Thank you!”

As word of Melody’s sleuthing skills spread, people began calling for help. And the more animals she found, the happier Melody felt-until she decided to make it her full-time job! And she got results...

Boots’ owners were heartbroken when, after six months of searching for their cat, they had to move away. “I’ll keep up the search,” Melody promised. She set up video cameras all over town. And at the end of the day, when she checked the tapes, she’d pinpointed Boots! Melody went to pick him up, and the scared kitty raced straight into her arms.

“I’ll never forget KFC, either,” Melody smiles. KFC was a chicken a neighborhood woman had lost. “You live near a school,” Melody observed. “Let’s put up fliers there.” And sure enough, calls from children came in right away: one boy at school had been bragging about his new “pet chicken.” KFC had been chicken-napped! Thanks to Melody, she was home the next day.

Today, Melody has found hundreds of pets with the aid of her website (www.pet-detective.com) where people can e-mail Melody for help. She doesn’t charge for her work, though she does accept donations.

Hundreds of overjoyed owners have called Melody an angel, but she shakes her head. “I just love reuniting animals and their owners,” she insists. “If someone loses a pet, I’m going to find it. Those pets are counting on me.”

Jamie Kiffel

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