On May 21 Candice Lee of Columbus Ohio’s NBC4 did a segment on our organization
and how we helped a Dublin Ohio family recover their cat, Leonardo diCatrio. Leo wandered off when the husband let him out at night – contrary to habit – while his wife was in Naples Florida for a few days. We were thrilled with the story and the exposure because the more people who know and use the Pet FBI lost and found pet database (which is national) and the Pet FBI Facebook page (which is for Ohio) – the better the chances of losers and finders connecting with each other and the more happy reunions.
We were delighted when other NBC stations in Mobile, Alabama, Texas, Chicago, New York and Florida, picked up the Pet FBI segment and ran it locally. Since we only went national about a year ago, we need to achieve a critical mass of users outside of Ohio to achieve a similar high level of success. More users = more recoveries. Unfortunately, at some point one of the stations confused the facts and started referring to our founder who was interviewed as “Florida’s Ace Ventura”! (Actually we are based in Columbus, Ohio and Leo went missing in Columbus while his Mom was away in Florida!)
But there is another impression we need to correct. We have been striving since 1998 to make the Pet FBI web site the most comprehensive source of information about lost and found pets. If a search of the lost and found reports at PetFBI.org doesn’t yield a match, you must not stop there! We offer a step-by-step action plan; we inform people about how to identify important contacts like shelters and animal control, We give tips on how to lure a cat back home, or how to approach a stray dog, we provide a template for an effective flyer, and
- we stress that you have to pursue all sources of information,
including other web sites, Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, and various lost and found Facebook pages, including our own.
We are fortunate in having a truly dedicated Ohio Facebook administrator who has won a following of about 19,000 friends. It is true that there is an unofficial network of Pet FBI Ohio Facebook followers who try to help posters by “connecting the dots” (looking at all the various sources of information) but we do not want to give the impression that all you have to do if you lose a pet is post on PetFBI.org or Facebook/PetFBI Ohio and then sit back and wait. Pet FBI strives to provide all the necessary tools for people who lose a pet or find a stray, but it is up to those people to make use of the tools.
We often discover that people will post a lost dog report, for example, but then they neglect to search the found dog reports. Or they stop there and don’t follow the action plan. Sometimes people send us a message “Let me know when you find my cat”! Sorry, it doesn’t work that way! Please, if you have lost or found a pet, take advantage of all the tools we offer and most important, do not give up too soon! Keep checking the database, keep going back to the shelters, renew the flyers and seek out all sources of information.
We are happy to report that in Ohio – where we are best known – the reported recovery rate for cats so far this year (May, 2015) is 54% and for dogs 33%. And it is probable that the rate is even higher because people forget to update their reports once they achieve a happy reunion. SO DO NOT GIVE UP!