Almost a month had gone by when Jack turned up eleven miles from where he went missing. An unlikely reunion – but it happened thanks to the Pet FBI database.
Dave & Andrea are Westerville Ohio residents that first noticed this kitty on 1/5/16. They struck out with a microchip and their search did not turn up any lost cat flyers. They then searched the Pet FBI lost & found pet database (www.petfbi.org) and couldn’t believe their eyes. There was kitty’s lost cat report! He went missing on 12/11 and was found 11 miles from home!
Our lost & found pet database has been a central location for pet owners and finders to exchange information since 1998. It is a free service sponsored by our all-volunteer non-profit organization.
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:)
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.
Good Sam Darla sent us a message last month asking what steps she should take regarding this kitty that had been stopping by every evening for a few months. In addition to filing a report on our free lost and found pet database petfbi.org, I also suggested she stop by a vet to have her scanned for a microchip for free and guess what?
She had a chip! Her name is Penny and she had been missing for ONE YEAR!!!!
Unfortunately the reunion wasn’t as happy as everyone had hoped. Penny was spooked and didn’t recognize her family at first. But at least she’s home safe and sound thanks to Darla!!
A good permanent method of permanent pet ID is the microchip. 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. All shelters and vets will provide this service free of charge.
Many companies now offer microchips for pets. They are not terribly expensive. Often humane societies offer low-cost microchipping clinics, so ask your local humane society or consult your vet.
Snickers was found within an hour of going missing by an unscrupulous individual who tried to sell her for $25. He then either sold or gave her away to a lovely gentleman who took great care of her this past week. He was mortified to learn that Snickers had a family that loved her and was looking for her. He returned her immediately.
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story – except for the honesty and kindness of the gentleman who adopted Snickers not knowing he was some little boy’s lost pet. It seems that lately we hear more and more stories about people unwilling to return a pet they have found. Sometimes it’s unscrupulous people who try to profit by selling a stray they have found. Then there are those with good intentions but poor judgement who rush to judgement and decide to keep a stray they have found because they think it looks neglected or just because it got lost which they take as evidence of neglect. With all the resources there are out there, including Pet FBI which is free and all the social media, there is no excuse for not trying to trace the owner of a stray.
Then there is outright pet theft, which is a lot more common than people think. We get reports from all over, not just “bad neighborhoods”. Never leave your pet unattended. We have reports of pets snatched from screened porches, fences yards, and even especially from cars.
Our Pet FBI Facebook Ohio Administrator, Char, is behind hundreds of happy reunions thanks to her personal attention. There were over 80 reunions on Facebook Ohio just in November!
Although we give detailed advice and step-by-step action plans on our internet database at petfbi.org, there is nothing as effective as personal encouragement from a dedicated volunteer like Char.
Safia’s Mom took her friend’s suggestion and posted her missing kitty on our Facebook Ohio page. Char immediately texted her our cat attracting tips.
Here is a note from a very grateful Mom:
“Safia is home safe! Words cannot express how grateful I am for the help and tips given to me from Pet FBI Ohio . I would more specifically like to thank Char. She contacted me almost immediately after I posted that she had been lost (around 7:40 pm this evening). She got information from me and gave me tips that helped lure my kitty back to her home. I warmed up tuna and put some in a dish just outside the door to the garage AND just inside the actual garage door. I waited a little bit and rewarmed the tuna as instructed. I even placed her kitty bed with my pillowcase out in the garage. Sometime a little after 9 pm, I was going to place a “poo” bag I had scooped out of the litter box out in the garage, and as I opened the door, Safia came running inside. I would have posted this sooner, but I was hysterically crying once I realized she was home safe. I also notified my neighbors.
My lovely sister updated my post and Char again contacted me to let me know how happy she was that my kitty had been found and even called to speak with me. THANK YOU PET FBI. I am one happy cat lady.”
This 25 year old cat ended up three miles away, apparently attracted by some females he had visited previously!
Here is his Mom’s account of the reunion from her post on our Ohio Facebook page.
“A good Sam named Laura noticed the flyers I put up and called at 230 AM on Wednesday morning (the flyers did say to call anytime) and exhaustively told me that she had Mr. Kidders and would wait until I got off work at 3AM to come get him. When he went missing last year, he wound up at Laura’s but at that time he came back on his own…over 3 miles from home! She told me she has 2 female cats and that could be why he keeps finding his way back to her. Laura would not take any of the $250 reward offered, was just happy I had him back again and happy she could go to bed! Thank you Pet FBI and thank you all of those who prayed, searched and gave me their best wishes! This is my Christmas miracle getting my love back and I pray that everyone missing their pet gets the same blessing I did! Thank you again!”
Our dynamite Facebook Administrator. Char, has been coping with several scams reported by our Facebook posters. We had the opportunity to alert people through a spot on our local ABC station: WSYX ABC 6 . Click this link to watch the video interview about scams affecting lost and found pets.
A problem we are running into more and more often is having multiple people claim the same found pet. Usually it’s a purebred dog of some kind. People either claim the dog to keep or more often to sell. We cannot overstate the importance of demanding some kind of proof of ownership before you relinquish a pet you have found to someone who claims it. You should require vet records, license documentation and a photo. You can also tell if a dog is really being claimed rightfully by the dog’s behavior towards the people claiming it. Producing a Craigslist “Lost Pet” classified does not constitute sufficient proof because the scammers sometimes use the information in the Found Report to post a phony Lost Report after the fact.
The other scam people need to be aware of are the numerous for profit lost and found web sites that promise various contact services for a fee. Some of them are contacting people who post on Pet FBI repeatedly and pressuring them to buy their services. One such site that exhibits logos from the ASPCA, HSUS and the Better Business Bureau although they are in no way endorsed by those organizations. They have a donation link but they are not non-profit. They also claim an unrealistically high success rate.
Before engaging a contact service – and some are legitimate and can be helpful – be sure to read off-site reviews and contact the BBB in their zip where they are located.
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.
Sometimes our “Lost and Found” experiences result in an unexpected turn of events. When an original owner cannot be traced, there may still be a happy ending, thanks to people who care. Here is Maura’s story about her serendipity love affair with Teddy in her own words – they even look like they were meant for each other!
“Teddy was found November 10th by good Sam Julia H. in Grove City. He was covered in urine, matted fur, shaking and scared.
Julia is a vet tech so after giving him a bath she immediately took him to the vet she works for to check for microchip, but Teddy didn’t have one. He also had not been neutered.
She posted to PetFBI and mentioned she owns 2 large dogs and that this new doggie was not doing well with them, very scared.
I commented on the post that I would be more than happy to foster – I have a spacious condo with no other pets but have been caring for doggies my whole life and I couldn’t bare to see him end up at the shelter. Julia replies within minutes how thankful she was – and later that evening we met so I could get Teddy and go over things with her. Our motto was “no proof, no pup!” And I’m glad it was, because in the coming days I had 7-10 offers to buy him 🙁
From the night Teddy arrived here, he has been a dream! I took him to my groomer friends the next day and they said it looked like his nails hadn’t been clipped in over a year, but luckily he did not squirm when clipped so I don’t think there was any pain! He was SO good for his groom, just wanted to lick them the whole time! While he knows no commands (even basic) he has been on his best behavior. He doesn’t quite understand toys yet (or bones!) Zero accidents in the house! Sleeps with me in bed at night – and sleeps through the night. He’s just a snuggle monster. He follows me like a shadow and cries a bit when I leave but I think that will stop in time.
So far he’s learned to sit, seems to know his new name (Teddy), and is scheduled to be microchipped, neutered and given shots on November 30th.
He’s got a ton of people who love him already, and I honestly feel like he found me! He brings so many laughs and light into my life! I’m so happy to be able to give him the best life ever!
Thanks for all you do!!”