SAN DIEGO - A local Navy family is hopeful a pet detective will help them find their four-legged family member.
Rebecca Smothers is trying to keep her 3-year-old son Nathan's spirits up even though his best friend and the family dog, Jenna, is missing.
Jenna was bought specifically for Nathan two years ago to help him deal with his father's deployment. With his mother and father in the Navy, Jenna became Nathan's security blanket.
"It's nice for him to have a constant any time either one of us leaves for anything," said Smothers.
Last week, Jenna got out of the gate of their Imperial Beach home and has not been seen since.
"He keeps asking about her. He keeps asking where she is, can he play with her and when is she coming back," said Smothers. "And we've told him she's out for a walk right now and she's not home. He's upset and sad."
Smothers tried social media and websites like Craigslist to find Jenna, but did not have much luck.
That is when she found Judy Britton, a pet detective, who is hired to look for missing pets. Using a sniffing dog, she was able to figure out which way Jenna went, pinpointing an area they can focus their search.
Britton is hoping by strategically putting missing dog signs up in the area where Jenna's scent was found, they will be able to get the tips they need.
Although they have not gotten the key information they need, Britton says there is still hope for Jenna.
"You have six weeks before the odds statistically drop dramatically when recovering a pet, and most people don't know that because they stop searching way before that," she said.
Until then, Smothers says she will keep her fingers crossed hoping that Jenna is reunited with her family.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Smothers at 619-646-7192.