ST. LOUIS — Roughly 10 million pets go missing every year. That’s according to the American Humane Association. Losing a dog or a cat can be an owner’s worst nightmare.

Sarah Schwartz knows about that all too well. She lost her lab mix, Merritt, May 10.

“He’s playful he’s cheery. He’s silly. He’s just so sweet,” she said of her dog.

Merritt was in the care of someone else when he got loose in the Central West End. Schwartz put up posters and posted desperate pleas on social media, but so far nothing has brought him back home.

That’s when she turned to Karin Tarqwyn, a pet detective based out of Nebraska.

Tarqwyn lost her own dog back in 2004. She eventually got him back, but that experience inspired her to start a business to help other pet owners.

Now, she rescues breeds that are predisposed to hunt down scents like hounds and trains them to do this.

“It was such a grievous experience that and it affected me so strongly,” said Tarqwyn.

Her dogs were given one of Merritt’s old collars to sniff. Then they go to places where he’s been spotted. If they pick up the scent, then the dogs will leader her in that direction.

This is just like a missing person case. It’s very similar,” said Tarqwyn. Her dogs also do missing persons cases as well.

In two days, the team was able to cover five miles. Tarqwyn said 87% of the time the dog is found.

In Merritt’s case, he’s a timid dog. If anyone spots him, it’s best to not approach him. Make note of where you spotted him and check to see what condition he is in, then call Sarah at 314 243-0502.

If you have a lost dog and want to contact Tarqwyn, click here to visit her website.