I used to like July 4th and fireworks. As a kid, I mean. I remember wearing rubber Zorries in the hot summers in Fresno, California and eating yummy BBQ chicken and potato salad while waiting for the sun to go down. I remember how fun it was to light sparklers and those little black tablets that turned into stinky snake things. (BTW, what were those made of?)
Call me “unpatriotic” if you want, but ever since I became a pet detective (in 1997), I have grown to HATE 4th of July fireworks. Seriously. I can’t look at them, I wish they would outlaw them, and I spend the entire holiday dreading them. That’s because in the span of a few hours, unsuspecting sweet and mellow dogs and well mannered cats become freaked out of their minds and bolt in a panic. They run away for what they believe will be safety but oftentimes their attempt at “freedom” from the noise causes their death. I see it every July and it just breaks my heart.
Since 2008, Missing Pet Partnership has done our best to help families and pets at the 4th of July. In July 2008, we set up a booth at the Kent Animal Shelter (Kent, WA) where we offered free assistance (advice, tips. encouragement, free neon lost pet posters, and “tagging” of cars with neon markers to mass market lost dogs) to help recover lost dogs and cats. Then last year for July 4th 2009, we moved our booth to the Seattle Animal Shelter. This time we tracked the cases to see just how successful our efforts would be.
Over three days, we assisted 31 families: 15 families who had lost a dog and 16 families who had lost a cat. Most of the dog owner were relying on flimsy, white, 8 1/2 X 11 fliers and we fixed that right away. We gave them giant, neon LOST DOG posters and tagged their cars which helped recover 7 of the fifteen dogs. With the sixteen families who had lost a cat, we quickly educated them that while dogs run, cats HIDE (when panicked by fireworks) and that they needed to search under and in every conceivable hiding place on their property and in their neighbor’s yards. This advice plus our giving them neon lost cat posters helped recover 7 of the 16 cats. Ultimately, 80% of the lost dogs and 81% of the lost cats were recovered due to our assistance.
I encouraged Margie to come to our booth at the Seattle Animal Shelter. I told her we’d give her neon posters (that were donated by F5 Corporation) and we’d tag her car. Margie was dismayed, but she came. A volunteer helped her put up the posters on July 5th, and by the next afternoon, Margie had Odie in her arms. Odie had been living under a bush in a side yard of a house 7 miles from where he escaped from Margie’s car. When Margie brought her sign back and let all our volunteers meet Odie, there was not a dry eye in that parking lot!
Another great reunion was when we helped to bring Sukhi back to his family, Cristien and Ajax. Sukhi also was panicked by fireworks on July 3rd. On July 5th, Cristienand Ajax came to the Seattle Animal Shelter. We only had three volunteers, but we assigned them to go with Cristiento conduct the only “Intersection Alert” that we could do because we did not have enough volunteers. An “Intersection Alert” is where our volunteers pretty much become “sign twirlers” by standing on a street corner with a florescent LOST DOG signs in order to capture the attention of drivers and market a lost dog. Within FIFTEEN MINUTES of our volunteers standing on the corner, the woman who had found Sukhi pulled up to the intersection! Within twenty minutes, Suhki was back home where he belonged!
This year, in July 2010, Missing Pet Partnership has plans to set up another booth but this time at the Kent Animal Shelter. We hope to double the amount of people that we help. And now that we also have six search dogs that are finally trained to track lost pets, we hope to offer lost pet tracking services as well. However, there’s a problem. Donations to Missing Pet Partnership have dropped and we are at risk of having to shut down our operations. In order to keep our services (and our plans to develop these same lost pet services in all communities) alive, we need to raise $6,000.00 by July 1, 2010 or we will be forced to suspend our operations.
If you’re reading this blog and you believe that the work that Missing Pet Partnership is doing is worthy of your support, please support our work. You can make a PayPal donation from our homepage (at the top of our homepage) or send a tax deductible contribution to: Missing Pet Partnership, P.O. Box 3085, Federal Way, WA 98063.
For years, Missing Pet Partnership has been there for the panicked pet owners who call us, begging for help in finding their lost pet. We average 3 calls a day from people who’ve lost a pet in the Seattle area and abroad (Canada, United Kingdom, you name it, they call us) who find our web site and are begging us to help them.
Now it is our turn to beg…PLEASE HELP Missing Pet Partnership so that we can continue to help others!