The darling little chihuahua snuggled up to the little boy in this photo went missing in Columbus, OH. At the time, she was not wearing a collar or ID tag. She was picked up by a Good Sam who submitted a Found Dog report to the Pet FBI database. Fortunately, the pooch’s family also thought to use the Pet FBI database, searched the “Lost Dog” reports, and there she was! A speedy, efficient reunion, thanks to technology and the Pet FBI site which is well known and widely used, especially in Ohio. We have been helping people recover lost pets in Ohio since 1998 with great success.
This story was reported to us by Pet FBI Special Agent, Teresa. She heard about the virtually instantaneous reunion when she contacted the person who posted the Found Dog Report only to learn that there had already been a reunion. All too often, people who have lost or found a pet only post in one place and stop there. This is where our Special Agents like Teresa come in. They look for match-ups on many other online resources like Craigslist and alerts from microchip companies, and they often contact posters to remind them of other important resources.
Our goal at Pet FB is to achieve the same high level of success that we have in Ohio on a national scale. It has been just a little over two years now that we extended our database to cover the entire US, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. We were awarded a Google Adwords grant which allows us to have our link show up high in search results, but what is really needed is a grassroots effort for people to tell their friends about Pet FBI.
We have a Facebook page for Ohio with almost 43,000 friends but to be optimally effective, more people need to use the database. Nowadays, lost and found pet Facebook pages are hugely successful in recovering lost pets, but only for people who have a Facebook page (and there are still plenty who do not!) and only in the short term. Posts tend to get buried pretty fast and that is where a searchable database is especially effective.
“Chaos” reunited with his “big brother”
This sweet pooch shown here with his happy “big brother” had escaped the yard and been picked up and taken to Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus, OH. His family had posted his picture on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Fortunately, Nicole, one of our Facebook followers, spotted him at the shelter, remembered his post and alerted the family. A happy reunion ensued.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Most lost pets are reunited through a shelter.
REALITY CHECK: Relatively few strays are reclaimed before being euthanized or adopted out to others.
According to a study done by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) only 17-30% of dogs in shelters are ever reclaimed by their owners and only 2-5 % of cats. Why so few? Basically it’s a question of timing. At most shelters, dogs and especially cats can be held for only a limited time. If the pet’s family isn’t there at the critical time…. that pet will either be put down or adopted out. Most shelters do not post their intakes to a public database. Most owners cannot check the shelters as often as necessary and it is generally useless to just call or even send a flyer. You must go to a shelter in person and see for yourself. In a large urban shelter there may be hundreds of cats and / or dogs impounded at any time. Please encourage your local shelter to take advantage of the free, searchable database at petfbi.org.
A Reunited Harry with his Human Brothers and Sister
Pet FBI “special agent”, our good pal and frequent hero, Teresa, saw Harry’s lost dog report on our database. (www.petfbi.org)
She contacted Harry’s Mom and encouraged her to post on our Facebook Ohio page as well. Teresa lives in the general area where Harry was lost so she shared his plight on Nextdoor.com. She soon received a couple of Harry sightings!
So what else would Teresa do on a blustery, rainy and cold day off? She went searching for Harry!
By following her intuition regarding where to look she actually came upon Harry! This remarkable woman then pulled over and sat outside of her car crunching on a bag of chips and making minimal eye contact in hopes of luring Harry as our pal Julia has taught us to do. Harry trotted off, however. But at the same moment his Mom happened to drive by looking for him! She encountered a rain-soaked Teresa. Teresa pointed Mom in his direction. Here is the happy result.
YOU TOO CAN BE A BECOME A PET FBI “SPECIAL AGENT”!
Here’s how: First, you do not need to brave the rain and the cold to go looking for lost pets in person. Just go to our page on how to help people recover lost pets read about what anyone can do unofficially.