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Last Updated: Tuesday March 04 2008 13:57 GMT

Sniffer dogs turn pet detectives

One of the canine pet detectives

They drive around in squad cars and wear special uniforms, but these are no ordinary police officers - they're the pet detectives!

Sniffer dogs D-For and Mickey are new recruits at Animal Search UK and they are on a mission to hunt down all sorts of missing animals - even cats!

But owner Tom Watkins says he's careful to pick dogs that like cats and won't end up chasing them even further away.

The former policeman set up the agency in 1999 and has had loads of success.

Rufus the cat disappeared from his home in November. After several sightings and lots of leg work, he was eventually found five miles from home and reunited with his owners in time for Christmas.

But the team's toughest case was that of another cat, called Charlie, who ended up 130 miles from home after hiding under a neighbour's car bonnet to keep warm.

He was eventually found with the help of the local primary school who got involved in the search.

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