Pet detective Kirilly Cull has revealed how she used her massive following to reunite four cavoodle puppies with their distraught owner.
The owner of four puppies stolen from her home in a brazen night-time burglary has relived the torment of returning from a night out to find her “babies” gone.
Jeni Merry had gone out for about five hours on the evening of December 18, and when she returned home at about 11pm, four of her four-week-old cavoodle puppies had been taken.
The thief had ripped open a back security screen door to get into her home, in Elanora on Queensland’s Gold Coast, to steal the puppies, which had yet to be weaned from their mum.
“I was just devastated. I couldn’t breathe. So then the nightmare began,” Ms Merry told news.com.au podcast The Dog Detective.
A distraught Ms Merry took to Facebook in a desperate plea for help, where with the assistance of her friend Angela Bell, she came across pet detective Kirilly Cull.
“She’s a godsend, that woman. She’s an angel. Honestly, she’s dropped from a cloud somewhere,” Ms Merry recalled.
Ms Cull has worked as a pet investigator for eight years and operates the Facebook page Missing & Stolen Pet Investigators Australia, which has more than 33,000 members.
The night after the puppies were taken, Ms Cull broadcasted a live stream from Ms Merry’s home, asking members of the group to share the video far and wide.
She told viewers at the time that no one knew about the puppies outside of Ms Merry’s immediate family, and that if they weren’t reunited with their mum, they were likely to die.
Within a few hours, almost half a million people had watched the video and more than 6000 people had shared it.
The volume of eyes on that video soon proved to be crucial, with Ms Merry receiving a phone call three days after the puppies were taken.
“I got an anonymous phone call. Somebody that wouldn’t say who they were or where they were from. But they told me they knew where my puppies were,” she told the podcast.
The puppies had been taken to a nearby vet, and Ms Merry raced there immediately to be reunited with them.
“I just started crying. It was the best feeling ever. It had been a rather traumatic three days,” she said.
“I wouldn’t like anyone to go through that I was so worried.”
Ms Merry thought the puppies could have been dumped or starved to death, given they hadn’t eaten anything other than their mum’s milk since birth.
“I was always extremely worried. But it had a really good outcome,” she said.
Ms Merry described Ms Cull the “most amazing pet detective in our country”.
“My puppies were found due to Kirily’s persistence, experience and outright passion for our four-legged friends.”
Ms Cull works entirely for free and her only goal is to reunite pets with their owners.
“Basically, what I do is I help guide the owners and their families into what to do when an animal does go missing, to keep them calm and centred,” she told the podcast.
“We offer a free service. We do not ask for anything in return. The only thing we would like is for you to have your baby back.”
The Dog Detective is news.com.au’s new six part podcast series lifting the lid on the complicated world of dog detectives, and the dark side of the pet community in Australia.