Residents of Birmingham’s Poppleton Park neighborhood received a surprising phone call late last summer — a recorded description of 3-year-old Archie, a French bulldog that disappeared earlier that morning.
“We had plastered the neighborhood with posters and we were driving around for days passing out fliers,” says Archie’s owner, who asks to remain anonymous.
While neighborhood search parties and heartrending fliers stapled to telephone poles are still go-to tactics in the hunt for missing pets, their bereaved owners now have another powerful tool modeled after the AMBER Alert system for missing children started in 1996. Petamberalert.com and Lostmydoggie.com are two popular missing-pet alert providers, and Archie’s owners used a similar one to send out the call to neighbors.
The companies offer varying tiers of service, adjustable by the breadth and scope of the search. A simple phone-call campaign through Petamberalert.com starts at $59.95, and all calls are made within an hour regardless of volume. For an additional fee, the company will fax posters of the missing pet to local veterinarians and animal shelters. Petamberalert.com claims an 85-percent success rate for finding missing pets if an alert goes out within the first week, giving more owners a dog’s chance.