Series 1 Episode 1
First Broadcast:

Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but across the country pets are being targeted by criminals who know that where there are pets there are big profits to be made. Driven by a difficult economy and our craving for increasingly flashy 'designer' pets, thefts and kidnappings are on the up.

Millions of pet owners are left with no one to turn to if their beloved pooch or kitty is stolen or goes missing. But now a new breed of entrepreneurs has come to their rescue: pet detectives.

Offering tragedy, comedy, loss and redemption as it follows the fortunes of three very different agencies, this documentary films the country's leading pet detectives as they attempt to unravel some of the most compelling and dramatic cases in the country: from the theft and murder of a champion budgerigar collection, to using the UK's only 'dog-hunter' dog.

The film makers follow the detectives into a world of trophy pets as they use painstaking police-style work, kidnap and ransom operations, informants and good old-fashioned shoe-leather to reunite victims with their beloved animals.

Tom Watkins is an animal lover with a selfless work ethic and an ambitious empire-builder. Tom's Animal Search UK operatives leave no stone unturned in their quest to find lost or stolen pets and re-unite them with distraught owners.

Colin Butcher, a ruthlessly efficient and highly experienced private investigator, has teamed up with ex-RSPCA officer Samantha Stringer, a warm-hearted animal expert, to run The Pet Detectives Ltd, specialising in the detection and retrieval of highly valuable pets.

John Hayward is an ex-Thames Valley policeman who runs the National Theft Register for lost and found birds. He is the nation's number one expert on rare bird theft. He uses old-school detective work and his supreme knowledge of the exotic bird business - and underworld - to crack his cases.

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The Pet Detectives on Channel4.com

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This documentary meets the detectives who track down kidnapped trophy pets and attempt to reunite them with their owners