Web site helps find lost pets

September 14, 2009 12:59:38 PM PDT
A new Web site is described as an AMBER Alert for lost animals.

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It's called FindToto.com and promises to send emergency phone calls to entire neighborhoods in the event your pet goes missing.

Elliot Cahn of Oakland and his dog Ollie, have been companions for 14 years, but they almost lost each other recently when Ollie wandered off, by chance, the day after his ID tag had fallen off his collar, Cahn hadn't yet replaced it.

"He's old and he's going deaf and blind and loves to wander around where there are a lot of cars and there had been some coyotes in the area recently and they had killed some dogs -- so I was really worried," said Cahn.

After searching for the old guy the old fashioned way, Cahn came upon FindToto.com; it asks for the last address where the animal was spotted.

"We find the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of that address and we call all the neighbors in the surrounding area, we travel north, south, east and west and we call all those neighbors and send them a thirty second message letting them know there is a missing pet in the area and how to get a hold of the owner," said Colleen Busch of FindToto.com.

The phone numbers in any specific area are available from phone list companies. Even people on the do-not-call list are contacted because it's not a sales call.

FindToto was created by a man in Brentwood; when his cat disappeared he wanted to call everyone in his neighborhood and ask them for help. At that time the service wasn't available and his cat was never found.

FindToto claims an 80 percent success rate in its first 18 months of operation. It's not free.

"We have an entry level package of $70 and that will call 250 homes for you. All the way up to 10,000 homes for $800 and six increments in between," said Busch.

Elliott Cahn says it was worth every penny he paid when he was looking for his old buddy Ollie.

"About an hour and half later, from the time I made my first contact with them, the phone rang. It was neighbors of mine who are maybe a half a mile up the road, who said 'I think we have your dog,'" said Cahn.

It's called FindToto, obviously, it can also find Ollie.

FindToto has located many hundreds of dogs and cats, but also an occasional parrot, turtle, as well as a wallabee in Wisconsin.

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