Types of Calls... Who may call
may be surprised at the number of calls you receive that have nothing to do with seeing your pet. Some will be support calls
from others who understand the situation you are in as they have been there themselves. Others may call just to see if you
have found your pet. We call these “Sympathizers and Supporters” and in some cases these people have become important
to our cases. I encourage you to note them in your Sightings Journal as sometimes they may offer to help and you may need
the help if your search is prolonged.
Informational call...“I think I saw
These are the calls
we are waiting for. I like to distinguish which type of call I am dealing with at the beginning of a conversation.
At the very beginning of a call, and in your most polite and sincere voice, I encourage you to ask, “Have you seen her?”
The polite and sincere can be tough if you have received twenty sighting calls that
day but remember, the caller has gone out of their way to call you and for some it may be the first time they have extended
this type of help. So be polite, enthusiastic and proceed to ask the questions from the Sightings Journal Form.
Although it is important to ask the questions necessary to find out if in fact they have seen
your pet, it is equally important to allow the caller to tell their story.
IMPORTANT: Do not prompt the caller with any physical descriptions of your pet. Allow them to describe the animal they
saw. It is helpful to have a Lost Dog Appearance & Behaviour Profile at the ready when you receive witness information. Keep the form available by your phone and in
your car at all times.
“I am looking at your dog right now”
If you receive this call, in your most enthusiastic and sincere voice, ask the caller to please stay and watch your pet as
you are already out the door and getting in the car. If you can keep them on the phone and converse with them about the dog
they are looking at, they can monitor the animal should it move from the location. If the dog begins to move they can tell
you in which direction and where.
Sometimes it is helpful to ask them to try and call the animal by using the pet’s
name and see what the response is. However, general rule of thumb…
your dog has been gone longer than 48 hours and has NOT allowed
approach by a stranger, it is usually better to ask the individual to not approach or attempt to catch your
dog but instead to just observe and report what they see.
We have on more than one occasion experienced an enthusiastic caller accidentally chasing the pet
into the street. So encourage the caller to stay with you on the phone. Sometimes that may not be easy. We have had callers
say, “I see your pet right now but I am on my way to church and I don’t want to be late.”
In one case the client was just four minutes away and had been trying to get close to her dog for over six weeks! The
caller hung up refusing to stay another few minutes. The dog had left by the time its owner arrived and the pet owner had
no idea in which direction he went.
So continue to talk with the caller and try to persuade them to stay until you arrive. Remind them
of the reward, how important your pet is to you, how you have been unable to sleep... use anything but try to convince them
to stay and watch the dog as you frantically but calmly try to get to the location. Most callers will stay until you arrive.