Praise for Intersection Alerts
Missing Pet Partnership offers detailed directions on how to conduct an “Intersection Alert” in order to mass market a lost pet in a community. Also known as a “Lost Pet Protest,” volunteers stand on four corners of a major intersection while holding up giant, florescent lost pet signs in an attempt to capture the attention of people driving through the area who may have seen or found the pet. For detailed instructions on how to conduct an Intersection Alert, visit our Intersection Alert page.
Thank you! Our little Chihuahua, Sukhi, got out on July 3rd and we were frantic. On July 5th we went to the Seattle Animal Shelter and Missing Pet Partnership helped us get him back! They were amazing–their volunteers made signs and went to the biggest intersection by our house and we found Sukhi within about 20 minutes! Their support was uplifting in our time of distress. This is what community organizing looks like! Thank you!
— Cristien & Ajax, Seattle, WA
(NOTE: MPP volunteers conducted a “Lost Dog Protest” and within 20 minutes, the woman who had Sukhi all along drove up to that intersection, saw our protest, pulled over, and told us that she had Sukhi in her house! The local Fox News station aired this recovery.)
Last night about 8 pm I got a call about a sighting of my Bernese Mountain dog, Cosmo, and drove over there in the dark and rain and by 9:30 pm had Cosmo back with the help of my husband and the woman who first spotted him there!! He was in the Laurelhurst Park neighborhood which was a short distance from the Metropolitan Market staging area and fairly close to our intersection alert which was coordinated by Missing Pet Partnership and some other caring dog lovers. It was one of the sightings that came shortly after the intersection alert, seeing him in Laurelhurst Park , that prompted me to use one of Kat’s large signs in the park. The woman who spotted him last night had seen that sign and when she saw him drove to the park and got my phone number to call me. So when the call came in last night, I immediately drove over to where the sighting took place. I was walking and driving around the neighborhood calling Cosmo for about 45 minutes. I finally spotted him under a street light and called Paul to drive over to help. Even though it was dark and rainy I knew it was Cosmo and called him and walked toward him. He stopped and looked at me and then ran into someone’s back yard.The chase was on! Gina and Kat, you were so right because Paul and I spotted him several times and he stopped and looked but it wasn’t until we just squatted down, with the bag of dog food I kept in the car and was carrying, that he began to approach. It still took a while after that to catch him. He had been circling a certain block running through back yards for a while. Paul and I decided to walk around the block in opposite directions so he would hopefully, eventually run into one of us. Finally, I turned the corner he was just right there at Paul’s feet eating food and jumping around him. He seems to be in very good shape and not too thin. He has an infected eye and I will take him to the vet today. He was extremely hungry. He slept so hard last night but woke up playful and very excited. Thank you Kat and Gina and please help me extend a thanks to Gina’s family, and Jim, Brian, and Marie and all the great people who cared and helped and continued to call me telling me to not give up hope. He was gone 2 weeks and 2 days exactly.
With tremendous gratitude,
Deb Heinricher and family, Seattle, WA
(Below is the story of Tabu, a dog recovered due to an Intersection Alert. It first appeared in MPP Founder Kat Albrecht’s pet detective blog and is used here with permission).
Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice (Tabu’s Story)
THIS is how to recover a lost dog. We call it an “Intersection Alert” or a “Lost Dog Protest” and it grabs the attention of people. Missing Pet Partnership (MPP) has had great success with this recovery technique, including the rapid (15 minute) recovery of a lost Chihuahua named Sukhi at the 4th of July (see The Seattle Times story). We use giant, florescent LOST DOG posters and volunteers wearing bright green LOST PET RESCUE vests who “market” a lost dog at a major intersection in the immediate area where the dog vanished.
Intersection alerts are most effective when conducted at major intersections with 6 to 8 volunteers during commute hours. They are highly successful on cases of lost purebred dogs that are easy to describe in a few words like “YELLOW LAB” or “WHITE POODLE, BLUE COLLAR.” If a passersby can read a few words and visualize what the missing dog looks like, then we can get our message out to hundreds of people in a matter of hours. Well, we had none of those factors working in our favor last week when we tried to recover a mixed breed dog on the run for 9 days in her Seattle neighborhood.
“Tabu” was a 14-year-old hard-to-describe brown mixed breed dog with ears that were sometimes pointy, sometimes floppy. How do you put THAT description into five words? And we only had three volunteers: myself, Jim Branson, and Sam Franklin. Sam was there because she knew exactly what it was like to have lost a dog. Sam’s Bassett Hound, Daisy, was lost for 3 months until MPP was able to help her humanely trap the skittish dog (see Sam’s testimonial here). So it was three MPP volunteers plus Mike, Tabu’s owner. And it was noon on Saturday, not exactly rush hour traffic. We each set up at a corner and started twirling our signs.
Actually, we didn’t move the signs around like real sign twirlers do. We made it easy for drivers to read our message as they pulled up to the 4-way stop sign. We held a stack of fliers with a color photo of Tabu that included Mike and Rohini’s cell phone numbers. I found that if I held the flyer out and waved it as driver’s pulled up to the stop sign, many would roll down their passenger window so I could quickly hand it to them.
We probably handed out 500 fliers during the next few hours. At one point, I was the only one left on the corner because Sam had left for work, Mike had headed off to check on what turned out to be a false sighting, and Jim had headed off in another direction on another false sighting. I had a line of drivers who seemed pissed that I was distracting or maybe delaying them from their last minute Christmas shopping. My feet were killing me. Then it started to rain. It was at that point that discouragement hit. I began to question just why I was standing alone in the rain on a street corner. Thankfully, minutes later everything changed. A man who had one of the flyers with him called Mike. Tabu was in his front yard, laying by his porch. Mike rushed off and returned to our intersection just fifteen minutes later – with Tabu in his car!
We were all elated! After high-fiving Jim, we both followed Mike back to his house. I was there when he let Tabu inside where she drank water and ate some food. I snapped a picture as she dropped to the ground, grunted, and rolled back and forth with pleasure on a small rug on the wooden floor. Mike said Tabu rolled like that with anything that had their scent on it. I waited until Rohini got home because I wanted to see her joy. She had been torn apart with Tabu’s disappearance. Tabu had been a part of her life since she was a puppy. As Rohini gave me a big hug and thanked me, it reminded me of my signature verse. Back in 1997 when I first made the decision to help people search for their lost pets, I came across a Bible verse that confirmed that pet detective work was my calling. The verse is Romans 12:15 which says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”
After things settled down, I asked Mike and Rohini to let me take a reunion picture of them with Tabu. The smile on Rohini’s face says it all – this family was, once again, complete. It was a good day to rejoice!
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