A true AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response) Alert is used to advertise far and wide when a missing child is suspected of being abducted. Some companies have attempted to create a similar service (though on a much smaller scale) to alert people in a town or neighborhood when a pet goes missing. Most Amber Pet Alerts are conducted by sending out an automated phone message, but other companies will send out postcards or even text messages.
Phone Call Services
These companies will send out a customized phone call to all of your neighbors and/or send lost pet flyers to shelters, vets, etc. This is most effective for lost dogs and friendly lost cats.
LostMyDoggie and LostMyKitty are the same company and share a lost pet database. You can submit a lost pet report to their database and they will email or fax a lost pet flyer to the closest 25 shelters or vets for FREE.
Postcard & Flyer Services
- Pet Harbor
- Lost Pet Cards
- Get My Cat
- Your local post office: you can also create your own postcard or flyer and have your post office deliver it for you. This is often considerably cheaper than the postcard companies, which often have a minimum order of 500-1000 cards. For more information, visit your post office or check out Every Door Direct Mail.
Companies to Avoid
When you search the internet for Amber Pet Alert companies, one of the top listed companies is the aptly named Pet Amber Alert, which is a company that sends out phone and poster alerts for lost pets. I used to list them as a resource on my business website, but I have since removed them after hearing numerous complaints (both from my clients and online). They aren’t a scam but they appear to be a very poorly run business. They are listed on the Better Business Bureau website with an F rating in two locations and a B rating on their newest listing.
For more information check out these Better Business Bureau listings:
- CA BBB – Amber Pet Alert has an F rating
- NY BBB – Amber Pet Alert has an F rating
- NY BBB – Current Pet Amber Alert rating (it has varied between B and F since 2011)
They used to be called Amber Pet Alert but later changed to Pet Amber Alert probably due to the bad publicity generated around the original name. It also looks like some other company, Amber Alert for Pets, has since purchased the www.amberpetalert.com domain name so the BBB listing links to the wrong company which is confusing. However, you can tell the BBB listings are for the same company because the owner is listed as Mark Jakubczak in all cases.
Perhaps the B rating is an indication that Amber Pet Alert is improving their services. The BBB file was only opened in January 2010, so I will certainly be keeping an eye on it as well as continuing to listen to the experiences of my clients who have used their services. I would like to be able to add them back to my list of recommended resources since they do offer services that the other amber alert companies do not, and their prices are very reasonable.
Local Amber Alerts
Some states offer Amber Pet Alerts (for dogs only as far as I know) through their state Animal Control Officer Associations. To find out more about this, ask your local Animal Control Officer (ACO) or contact your state association. The way these usually work is the state ACO association will send an email or fax about your lost dog to all ACOs who belong to the association.