Amber Alerts

A true Amber 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. 

Pet Amber Alert companies offer one or more of the following services:

  • Automated phone messages to people that live in the area where your pet went missing.
  • A flyer faxed and/or emailed to local vets, shelters and animal related businesses.
  • Boosted Facebook posts.  These appear as sponsored posts on the Facebook timelines of people that live in the area where your pet went missing.  This may be a 1 to 10 mile radius depending on the area lost and/or company used.
  • Other social media ads such as Twitter or Instagram.
  • Paid Google Ads.  These appear as ads on webpages visited by people that live in the area where your pet went missing.
  • Postcards mailed to people living in the area where your pet went missing.

Recommended Services

LostMyDoggie.com

LostMyDoggie and LostMyKitty

These are the same company and share a lost pet database.  You can submit a FREE lost pet report to their database and they will email or fax a lost pet flyer to at least the closest 25 shelters, vets, rescues groups and other animal related businesses.  After you submit your listing, you can login and view a list of where your flyer was sent.  You an upgrade your listing for a small fee such as an extended listing or adding your phone number or a reward amount.  These add-ons come with a 30 day money back guarantee if your pet is not found.  Phone call services are an additional fee and are non-refundable.  For more information on how their services work, check out their Frequently Asked Questions (located at the bottom of their site).  I definitely recommend using their free alert service.  I’m not yet sold on the usefulness of phone call alerts.  I think that they can help in some circumstances such as lost dogs and friendly lost cats, but other advertising methods are often more effective for lost indoor-only cats.  

IMPORTANT – Be aware that using this service is NOT a replacement for visiting and/or calling local shelters, rescues or veterinarians.  I always recommend going in person or talking to someone so you can be sure that your lost pet report was received and shared.  Also be aware that if you use any of the FREE services offered by LostMyDoggie and LostMyKitty, make sure to add them to your “safe sender” list and/or check your spam folder periodically.  If people attempt to reach you via the contact link on the lost pet database, this important email could end up in your spam folder and never be seen!  

Pet Amber Alert Companies

These companies will send out a customized lost pet phone calls or postcards to your neighbors.  Some also offer paid advertising via Facebook or Google ads.  Most will list your pet on their online database and may share your posting on Facebook.  A few offer free emails or faxes to shelters, rescues, vets and other lost pet businesses (see recommended services above).  These types of services are most effective for lost dogs and friendly lost cats.

FindToto – If you are going to use a paid service, I might suggest this one since it provides phone call alerts, boosted Facebook posts and sponsored Google Ads all within the alert package.  According to their website, phone call alerts go to both mobile and home phones.  The boosted Facebook post appears as a sponsored post on the timeline of people living within the area where your pet went missing.  The radius may be from one to 10 miles depending on the density of households.  The Google Ad appears on random webpages visited by people who live in the area where your pet went missing.  They also provide Twitter and Instagram ads.  

LostMyDoggie.com (sponsored link) – offers phone call alerts and emailed/faxed or mailed flyers to local shelters, rescues, vets and pet businesses.  If you only want to do a phone call alert, their cost is significantly lower than FindToto for most packages.  They also offer a free database listing.

LostMyKitty.com (sponsored link) – offers phone call alerts and emailed/faxed or mailed flyers to local shelters, rescues, vets and pet businesses.  If you only want to do a phone call alert, their cost is significantly lower than FindToto for most packages.  They also offer a free database listing.

Lost Pet Cards – offers lost pet post cards.  From my experience these are delivered very quickly.

PawBoost – offers free listing on their database and they will share to your their Facebook page for your region.  For a fee, they will “boost” your Facebook post to people that live within 10 miles of where your pet went missing.  Boosted posts are shown as “sponsored” posts that appear in people’s Facebook timelines.  This might be effective for a lost dog, but the advertising area is set too large for most lost cats.  I recommend their free posting service, but I’m not yet sure about the effectiveness of boosted posts.  I’m currently testing some out myself on a limited basis.  So far I have had one lost goat found via boosted Facebook post.

Pet Harbor – offers lost pet post cards.

Your local post office: you can also create your own postcard or flyer and have your post office deliver it for you.  This may be 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.  Please note that post cards must meet certain specifications to be mailed using this service.

Companies to Avoid

When you search the internet for Pet Amber 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:

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.

10 thoughts on “Amber Alerts”

  1. For years I would have put PetAmberAlert at the top of the scam list.
    Today… it is a different story. PAA gets the job done… but that was not always the case.

  2. PetAmberAlert.com has 19 complaints (out of 10,000+ customers) with the BBB, all closed in the customers favor.

    We process over 500 alerts per month and offer two kinds of services!

    Findtoto only offers phone alerts, and on average they do about 100-150 alerts per month.

    With our kind of volume, sometimes mistakes happen and if they do we always close the case in the customers favor.

    1. I would beg to differ with Mr. Mark Jakubczak’s reply. I tried to cancel my service with this company only to find the log information they gave me wouldn’t allow me access to cancel. When I emailed, four days prior to their deadline to “extend their service’ (subscription as they call it) and left a phone message I was ignored and then billed four days later. To this day no one will return my phone calls and when I threatened to contact the local authorities I finally received a curt email saying they do not accept email or phone cancelations. Further, their $100 money back guarantee is cleverly worded to only include add-on’s, making it highly suspect. In and on-line chat I was also denied this refund as the ‘refund link’ was never on the website. When I brought this to their attention the chat was conveniently closed. An answering service always answers, but you never get to speak to the owner or anyone affiliated with the company. I should’ve demanded my money back from the beginning when it took them three days to make any calls or send out posters. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but now think if I hadn’t called to confirm they were doing something, they may not have done anything. To this day I’ve only had one company tell me they received a faxed poster and only one of my neighbors say they got a call from them. How sad that they are taking advantage of people already in distress over a lost pet. Incidentally, when I asked the ‘receptionist’ for the name of the owner, she gave me ROBERT Jakubczak. Interesting he is using two different names. I would not recommend them on your site.

    2. How did Pet Amber Alert gain permission from the U.S. Department of Justice, and the national Center for Exploited Children to use the name “Amber Alert?” Is this legal? If so, doesn’t it create confusion? The pet-finding company claims to share “the same technology” as Amber Alerts for missing kids. How is that possible? How do they make phone contact with people located within some circular radius? They charge more as the radius gets bigger. Why do they have an F rating with the New York and Los Angeles branches of the Better Business Bureau? Didn’t a wealthy internet entrepreneur start this company, after buying up lots of domain names and creating false Pet Blogs and Vet Advice websites which are just extensions of the company’s advertising? They look unrelated at first, but are the same thing. Notice how Search Rngine Optimization seems to be used by this group to trick Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. to give Search Results that are unnaturally stacked with a long list if bogus articles and blogs — all leading straight back to Pet Amber Alert? Are Fidofind and FindToto different names for the exact same operation? Seems there is much, much more to this story. A good place to start is the website called PeopleIWantToPunchInTheThroat.com, a wry bu serious site started by a well-known reporter and occasional comedienne? This isn’t what it seems to be.

  3. Hey I work for GetMyCat.com and we offer a Pet Amber Alert and Lost Cat Postcards. You should check it out and see if you would like to post our services up on your site as well! Thanks!

  4. For those who are interested, FindToto.com has an A rating with the BBB (http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/animal-registration-and-identification/pet-alert-in-oakley-ca-305200#bbblogo), and Lost My Doggie has an A- rating (http://www.la.bbb.org/business-reviews/Business-Services/LostMyDoggieCom-LLC-in-Irvine-CA-100102339). I checked a few months ago and Amber Pet Alert was down to a C rating. Currently it is not rated because they are addressing some previously closed complaints.

  5. As of February 12, complaints about Pet Amber Alert had earned the company an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau in Los Angeles. The BBB in New York also showed numerous complaints and noted the company failed to respond to requests for substantiation of the company’s pet finding claims.

    I made several attempts to contact Pet Amber Alert for this report, but could never get to a human on the phone, or an option to leave a voice mail message. The link to contact them through email did not respond.

    From: KOMO-TV News, Feb. 13, 13

  6. I just used petamberalert.com for my missing dogs. I entered the request for their services (& PAID for them) at 6:30am PST on Monday 2/3/14. I didn’t receive anything back from them until 11:18am PST, almost 5 hours later. If they are truly in the pet finding business, they should know that time is of the essence. I tried calling their number repeatedly on 2/3 and received a message “this number is temporarily out of service”. I figured I’d been scammed but had other things to focus on (finding my dogs!) so I made my own fliers and set out alone. Even after their email at 11:18am stating they had notified pet agencies within a 25mi radius, I still brought my own flier around because I did not trust them. None of the vets that I stopped off at were notified by Pet Amber Alert. No neighbors that I spoke to were called by them. I found my dogs on my own. I’ve called and left them a message, I updated my pet’s status as being found both via phone AND online, however they are still listed on the website. I can’t get anyone to return my calls and I do truly feel that I’ve been scammed. If I don’t hear back from them soon, I’ll be going through my credit card company to have the charges reversed. Thank you!

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