lost dog

Quick, Efficient Reunion for a Lost Dog via PetFBI.org

happy reunion of lost doghappy reunion of lost doghappy reunion of lost dog

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.

Tracing a Lost (or Found) Pet Online

 Lost or found a pet?
This post is about using online resources.

Here is an example of a narrowly missed reunion due to the multiplicity of online resources:

10:23  Woman with missing dog posts this on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page

lost dog

 

10:26  Teresa, a  devoted Pet FBI Facebook follower finds a matching Found Dog report on the comprehensive  searchable  database at petfbi.org and posts it to Facebook:.

found dog report matching

Comments follow: Pooch is quickly recovered

comments FB

Teresa is a self-appointed Pet FBI “special agent”  who makes it a daily endeavor to “connect the dots” . Without her vigilance, the people who lost their dog might not have recovered it – at least not so quickly. All the while, there was a link on our Facebook page for our web site and database. If the Facebook poster had used it, she would have found her pooch’s Found Dog report without further ado! But the petfbi.org link is easily overlooked, especially since people who lose a pet are generally in a state of panic. The good Sams, in their turn, might have come across the Facebook post, but generally good Sams tend to be less less motivated.  Once they have posted a found report they expect that the owner will find it.

OBJECT LESSON: To recover your lost pet using web based information, you must be thorough and use all possible resources. We are here to say that the best place to start is the database at PetFBI.org because it is arguably the most comprehensive and the easiest to use. If this sounds like self-promotion, or bragging, we invite you to compare. You will find links to the most helpful online resources on our web page Other Online Resources..

Say your pet goes missing. Your first impulse  – using web based resources – is probably to post on your Facebook page and ask your friends to “share”. But you must not stop there!

You could use a search engine like Google with search terms like “I lost my dog, what should I do?” Or “lost pet website”. Then you probably find yourself confronted with a zillion results. Information about lost pets is scattered everywhere, not just on dedicated web sites, like Pet FBI, but also on Facebook pages, Craigslist, neighborhood sites, shelter sites, etc.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a single, central source of information, just as there is a central registry for stolen cars? If everybody used the same database, lost pets could be recovered quickly and efficiently. This could avert the traumatic – and risky – stay at the pound.

Realistically there will always be multiple sources of information about lost pets. One reason is that there is profit potential in offering various types of assistance for locating a lost pet. Your online search will yield numerous web based businesses. They offer – for a fee – to contact shelters, or neighbors via flyers, faxes, robo-calls, postcard mailings, etc. (For an analysis of the relative merits of pet finding contact services go to our page Other Online Resources.)

Our vision at Pet FBI is to attract as many lost and found reports as possible to optimize the chances of “losers” and “finders” connecting with each other. In Ohio where, after 18 years we have reached a critical mass of users, our success rate is about 40%. Since we only went national in May of 2014, the overall success rate is about half that. But still we have the largest of all lost and found pet databases and all features are FREE!  Most importantly, our web site provides links to other national databases and educates people about how to identify the most helpful online resources for their area.

The bottom line is that your success in recovering your lost pet through online resources is determined by knowledge of where to look and how thorough and persistent you are. It is not enough to use only one resource.

 

Compassionate Pet FBI Facebook Friends Rally to Help Pathetic Pooch

dog with huge mass
This poor fella, found in an alleyway in South Columbus with a large mass on his side, needs to visit the vet. His Good Sam is not in a position to absorb this unforeseen financial burden. 

Dog and good Sam

16 year old Good Sam. with Baby after a nice bath. Doesn’t he look grateful?

She posted on Pet FBI Ohio’s Facebook page and our kindly, caring Admin, Char, called for donations. Within 12 hours over $300 was donated by twenty good souls. When the first vet bill came in at $435, an anonymous donor swooped in and paid the balance. Another $210 came in after hours, That will go towards his ongoing care.

Dog at vet

Baby at vet

Baby is younger than he looks, does not have heart worms, and his blood panel came out OK. But they need to keep him a few days so they can do more tests and control his diet. It is dangerous to let  an animal or  a person gorge after a long period of not  eating. He will also need surgery most likely. You can follow our Facebook page for further bulletins. You may need to scroll down to Baby’s picture.

Fortunately, there is someone in the Good Sam’s family who can give Baby a good home, but his vet bills are not over yet. If you can, please make a donation to help Baby.

Donation link

About Microchips

It is not unusual to come across a news item about a cat or a dog that has been reunited after five, seven, or even ten years. Usually, as in the case of Boozer shown in our previous post, it is because the owner was traced through a microchip that had been previously overlooked.  A microchip is a tiny identification device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted beneath the skin of your pet. Each chip contains a unique identification number. When a pet is found, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic. The owners contact information is associated with that number recorded in a registry.

Unlike ID tags, microchips are permanent yet even they are not foolproof. Sometimes they migrate from the spot where usually implanted and are missed. Occasionally at a busy

Sheldon: Traced through microchip to the shelter where he was adopted

Sheldon: Traced through microchip to the shelter where he was adopted

shelter, the scanning protocol may be overlooked. Also, there are multiple microchip registries and that leads to confusion Another drawback is that pet parents forget to update their contact information with the registry and then it is no longer possible to trace them easily. Also some people do not know about microchips and if they rescue a stray they may not know to have it scanned by a vet or a shelter which is usually a courtesy service, that is – no charge.

Many companies now offer microchips for pets. They are not terribly expensive. Often humane societies offer low-cost microchipping, so ask your local humane society or consult your vet. Remember, having some form of ID for your pet, especially a microchip, will greatly increase its chances of recovery.

Deaf Foster Dog Recovered Thanks To Alert Animal Control Officer

Dog w distinctive markings

Jeorgia

Tina, an alert Animal Control officer in Columbus Ohio follows our lost and found Ohio pet Facebook page. While looking over the new posts she remembered a phone call from a new foster parent about a missing dog that was deaf. It happened that this pooch had distinctive markings in addition to being deaf, so it was a pretty solid match. In fact, within 30 minutes a happy reunion took place.jeorgia2

Wet Dog Rescued, Relocated, Reunited!

man and dog reunited

Lost dog from Columbus ends up in Cleveland

This darling dog was spotted shivering and soaking wet at the side of the road by a Good Sam in Columbus, Ohio. Since he was on his way home to Cleveland he stopped to pick up the poor pooch and brought him home with him.  Meanwhile her anguished Dad posted  a lost report on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Hundreds of shares later, the item reached the news feed of the Good Sam who immediately contacted the owner. Here is is happily reunited.

OBJECT LESSON: Lost pets often end up far from home either on their own, or because they were rescued through circumstances that led to them ending up far far away. While most pets are found close to home, especially cats, always extend your search to shelters and media  farther away,

Lucky Coincidence – Another Pet FBI Ohio Success!

Lost chihuahua reunited

Tiny Pooch Recovered through Facebook

 

Our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook pal, Charlene, overheard a co-worker discussing a small dog she had found. The co-worker was did not have a Facebook account but Charlene whipped out her mobile phone and scrolled down and there was a post for an identical dog!  It was indeed Tiny, now happily reunited.

Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa Scores Another Recovery!

Nike and Niko Renuited

Nike and Niko: Lost Dogs Recovered By Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa

These two fellas had a quick reunion shortly after being posted on Pet FBI Ohio thanks to our very own “special agent”, pal and frequent hero, Teresa!

Teresa lives in the area where they were missing so she hopped in the car to look for them. Teresa often follows a hunch when deciding where to drive and it paid off again today! The boys were trotting along dangerously close to a busy road when Teresa pulled over. She called for them, they ran to her and then hopped in her car!

You, Too Can Become a Pet FBI “Special Agent”!
Here are some things anyone can do to get lost pets back home without officially volunteering:

  • Keep an eye out for lost pets in your neighborhood. Follow the database for reports close to your zip to see what pets have gone missing in your area. If you are in Ohio, follow our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page.
  • Be a cross-checker! Some people post a lost or found report in one place, like Craigslist or Facebook and stop there. They have heard of these big sites, but they don’t know about Pet FBI or any other web database. If you are have a good memory or a good system, you may be able to match up lost and found reports from various sites!
  • If you live near a pound or a shelter, you could volunteer to be the “go-to” lost and found person. Follow postings for lost and found pets on Pet FBI and various other resources and look for a match at the shelter. (This kind of thing is not high priority at most shelters where volunteers have all to do to care for the many animals.)
  • When you see a lost/found flyer around town, contact the people to tell them about Pet FBI.
  • Print out some Pet FBI flyers and post them in pet supply stores, convenience stores, community bulletin boards, etc. Just carry some around with you in your purse or in your car and post them when you come across a public bulletin board. Be sure to ask for permission if required.
  • Mention Pet FBI to your vet, your groomer, or your pet sitter. Ask them to post a Pet FBI flyer so people learn about it.

Boggie Found …”After 2 1/2 Very Long Freezing Cold Days”!

Lost Dog Found

Boggie and Mom, Right After His Recovery

Boggie’s family turned to Pet FBI when he went missing on a visit away from home. Here is his happy Mom’s account:

“I lost hope but your blog made me feel better.  Especially about dogs surviving in the cold.  We were in Cincinnati visiting my family for Christmas from Charlotte NC and the night before we were planning to leave, Boggie ran out of the yard to chase some deer around 10 pm. He was gone in minutes.  We searched until 1:30 am and started again at 5:30 am.  He has never done that before and really never leaves the yard.  He is a lab/boxer mix and such a big baby.  He sleeps on our laps and is afraid of his own shadow so the thought of him alone at night in the cold was frightening. Your site suggested that we post signs and Facebook messages, as well as visit all of the shelters and post on their sites.  We contacted the police dept and handed out flyers to postal workers in the area.  Boggie was spotted 3 miles away. We continued to search for another night and day (2 1/2 days total) until someone spotted him again being walked by someone in the area.  We went door to door and found him!!! We cannot thank you enough for your website and blog:)

OBJECT LESSONS:
1) Dogs can travel far and fast. Do not limit your search to the immediate neighborhood
2) People who lose a pet are in panic mode and not sure what to do. Follow the step-by-step action plan at petfbi.org.
3) For special situations like dogs lost way from home, consult our special advice page
4)  For hope and inspiration, read Pet FBI’s other blog posts about “Happy Tails” or successful recoveries, often against all odds.
5) Please do report “sightings” of free-roaming strays or dogs reported as lost. They help a lot.

Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa Aids in Recovery of Lost Dog

Lost Dog and Family

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.