Happy Tails

Franco Back Home After Two Months…Another Database Reunion!

Cat Found after two months

Franco: Reunited after two+ months

Franco went missing in June. He slipped away from a cat-sitting friend. Needless to say it was pretty distressing for all concerned.

Fast forward five or six weeks. A Good Sam noticed him. He was so shy she thought he must be feral. Thank God for this Good Sam! She was persistent and after three weeks finally caught him using a humane trap. She took him to a vet to be scanned for a chip. No chip – but the vet told her about the Pet FBI database. He wasn’t in bad shape so she checked the last two months, July and August.  No match. Then she checked June. SCORE!!! He was found only a few blocks from where he went missing.

Object Lesson:
1. You may need to trap in order to catch a stray.
2. Persistence pays!
3. Most cats are found quite close to home.

Jenquah Reunited Thanks to …..(read on!)

This beautiful cocker spaniel, Jenquah, was reunited with this family after just a few days thanks to
1) Ryan, the Good Samaritan who rescued him and fostered him until he could be reunited with his family directly. He posted info about the dog to the Pet FBI Facebook page…

2. Teresa, a Pet FBI “Private Agent” who follows the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page and cross-posts and cross-checks lost and found reports. It was she who contacted Ryan and urged him to give the complete information required so his post would go from the side bar to the more visible main timeline…

3. Char, our devoted Facebook administrator who spends hours daily vetting posts and seeing that all the posts on our timeline have complete, actionable information…

4. Another “Good Sam,” (whose name, appropriately, IS “Sam”!), the astute and dedicated Franklin County Animal Shelter worker who follows the Pet FBI Facebook page. So when Jenquah’s family came to the shelter to look for him he was able to tell them about the Facebook post. Result: happy ending!

JenquaObject Lesson:  –If you decide to foster a stray while seeking its owner in order to spare the pet the stress and risks attendant in giving the pet over to a shelter, at least leave full information about the pet with the shelters ASAP. Most shelters have a lost and found bulletin board and, after all, the shelter is the obvious place someone who has lost a pet would check.

— When you post to a Facebook page or Craigslist or any other free-form media, including posters, be sure to give complete, actionable information: full description of pet, when lost, where lost specifically and good accurate  information!

BIG NEWS! Pet FBI Lost and Found Pet Database Enhancement

Starting today, August 5, we are instituting a huge new time-saving feature for our database users. We are confident this enhancement will result in many more reunions. From now on, when you submit a lost or found pet report to the Pet FBI database, you will automatically receive information on any new potentially matching reports.

Here’s how it works: Suppose you submit a lost cat report. If a “found cat report” is submitted with a zip code within 100 miles of the zip you used in your report, you will be notified. New Report Alerts will be emailed daily, unless there is nothing new, and they will continue for 90 days from the day you submit your report or until you “unsubscribe”. Here’s a sample:

Found Dogs for 7/29/2015 within 100 miles of Zip Code 43002

Sample New Report Alert

The new reports will not be filtered by sex or color since people so often make mistakes about these characteristics. So you may get some extra information but that is better than missing that one critical report because someone thought your neutered male cat was a female. In any case, the New Report Alerts will be easy to skim and you will be saved the bother of having to do a manual search every day to see if there is anything new.

It will still be possible of course to do a manual search. If your report has not resulted in a reunion after 90 days, you can continue to look and even extend the search radius to 250 miles.

We would love to hear back from you if you have any suggestions about the New Report Alert or about anything else on Pet FBI.
Thanks to Glen, our ace volunteer database programmer who put a lot of work and thought into this!
With best wishes for a happy reunion,
Maresa, Pet FBI Director/Volunteer

How “Talking” Can Attract a Cat Back Home

Cat and Mom

Mia the cat went missing on Saturday. Her distraught Mom turned to the Pet FBI lost and found pet database at PetFBI.org and the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Our devoted Facebook administrator, Char Reidinger, coached her about what to do. Most cats don’t go very far; they are just laying low. Mom was trying all the tricks when finally on Tuesday evening around 9:30 she tried the most unlikely tip. She grabbed her cell phone and sat outside talking. Mia came trotting right over like “Ho-hum…hiya, Mom…”

Click this link for more of Char’s tried and true tips to attract a cat back home.

Darwin Reunited After Five Weeks Thanks To Pet FBI Database

DarwinA Good Sam found Darwin about half a mile away from home two weeks after he went missing. The Good Sam already had five cats and wisely took him to a vet to be tested for common infectious diseases. The tests came out negative but the vet did not scan the stray cat for a microchip and they did not suggest checking the Pet FBI database.

Three more weeks passed and a friend of the Good Sam suggested she check the Pet FBI database. And there he was! He is pictured here with his best friend Amelia who was thrilled to have him back.
Object Lesson: Possibly the vet thought it was the client’s intention to keep the cat, but knowing it was a stray, they should have checked it for a microchip. In fact, Darwin did have a microchip and would have been home three weeks sooner – which would have spared a lot of grief and worry! We strongly recommend microchipping and ID tags BUT they are not a guarantee of recovery. If your pet goes missing, you must use other resources as well!

Pet FBI was founded in Ohio in 1998 and has a very high success rate in Ohio because it is so well known and widely used. We averaged 145 reunions a month for the last three months within a 200 mile radius of Columbus. We went national only a little over a year ago, in May of 2014, but already the Pet FBI database is the largest national lost and found pet database. Please help promote more happy reunions by referring your vet, your groomer, your local pet supply place and shelters to petfbi.org. It’s completely non-commercial and all services are free!

Pet FBI featured on NBC

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!

Boomba REUNITED thanks to Pet FBI on Facebook!

reunitedboombaBoomba from Clintonville was REUNITED thanks to our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page!

He was initially posted on our page by his Good Sam when she found him.  He was then posted a few days later when his neighbor posted his Lost Cat flyer on our page.  Thankfully his Good Sam keeps a close eye on our page and immediately contacted his family to let them know he was safe and sound!