Dog Amber Alert — How Does It Work?

We’ve all heard of the Amber Alert system, so the Dog Amber Alert sounds very familiar. In this article, I review 3 different kinds.

Dog Amber Alerts can help find your missing pet.

A lost pet is one of the most gut-wrenching things an animal owner can experience. Slipping off the leash, escaping from the backyard or even being stolen — if any of those things happened, we would do anything to get our companions back or find the owners of lost pets. I’ve seen the flyers on the light posts and in store windows, papers hung up at the animal shelter and a list at the vet’s office, but how does an alert system work for dogs?

There is more than one company currently offering alerts for lost (and found) pets. Not all are alike, and each offers different services. Let’s take a look at three different providers.

Dog Amber Alert

Cost: Free

Services: This service uses a web-based interface to scroll tickers on some websites and display a list of pet alerts to members based on their zip code. Those members in the area of the missing pet will also be notified if they have registered for the service. Those wishing to post a missing pet are diverted to another website to get started.

Amber Alert for Pets

Cost: Variable Annual Fee

  • $24.95 for 1 year
  • $34.90 for 2 years
  • $44.85 for 3 years

Services: This member-based system is made up of people across the country who agree to receive alerts of missing animals near them, search the surrounding neighborhood for the animal and place a minimum number of flyers at local areas or businesses. The website provides the flyers for anyone to print and lists the missing dogs on its website.

Pet Amber Alert

Cost: Variable Service Fee

  • $49.95 for Poster Alert
  • $69.95 for Phone Alert
  • $119.95 for Poster and Phone Alerts
Reporting a missing pet immediately increases the chances it will be found.

Services: Based on packages listed above. The poster alert package faxes your alert directly to local veterinarians, shelters, rescue groups, animal hospitals and pet stores. The phone alert package places hundreds of calls to residents in the area your pet went missing. These calls feature a custom recorded message about you, your pet, where the pet went missing and was last seen, and provides advice on what to do.

Related Story How Does a Dog Microchip Work?

The phone service stands out because it covers neighbors with unlisted numbers or those with only mobile phones. The calls are attempted four times in an hour before a message is left. These services also work no matter where you lost your pet; if you’re not at home and lose your pet, these services contact people and businesses in the area the dog was lost. Contact numbers are updated by the company at a rate of 5 million+ per year, although some of your neighbors might be surprised if they receive a call.

As you can see, there are a few choices beyond the do-it-yourself method. Luckily I haven’t had to use any of these services yet, but we’re curious to hear if any of you have, or if you have at least considered registering for them.

Additional Resources

And since we all love happy endings, here’s one lucky pet owner who got her dog back and much more.

Photos: Piddleville (top), dbrulz123/Flickr

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has been researching and writing about pet behaviors and care for many years, with her articles appearing in various publications. She is the CEO of a large mental health practice in Louisiana and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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