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Pet Amber Alert

In one week I have received three annoying phone calls from the same organization. It's the Pet Amber Alert company.

Yes, I'm learning now that these things exist. So, when my neighbor's pooch runs away, I get an automated phone call telling me that "Rose Smith who lives on Main Street has lost her beagle. He's brown and white and answers to the name 'Tiger'." This message came in while I was away so it went to the answering machine. I swear it was over three minutes long of detailed information regarding helpful tips for the identification and trapping of Tiger so that I could return him to Rose. There were ideas of treats he prefers and how best to approach him. Ack!!

This was the second call in a week. When I received the first one, I thought it was just strange and chalked it up as a prank call or something random. I didn't think much of it until yesterday when I got the call about Tiger. Then that night, as we were sitting down to dinner, the phone started ringing again. I answered and was greeted by an automated voice telling me that this was another Pet Amber Alert and I swear to God I think he said, it was a "tortoise" that was missing this time. I couldn't hear for sure, because that's when I started yelling:

"Oh hell no! Stop calling me," I screamed into the phone and slammed it down. I know no one hears me yelling except my own family, but it made me feel better.

I am inundated on a daily basis with robo calls and I am irritated beyond belief with ALL of them. My congressman won't stop calling me (I didn't vote for you, asshole, take me off your list.), some shady sounding mortgage company who is offering me a "one time" only chance to refinance (If it is really a "one time" offer then why are you calling me twice a day?), and non-profits who will have donation trucks "in my area" on Monday (Half the time they say they're coming and I put my stuff on the curb, then they never show up. Ugh.).

I can not add another robo spam call to the mix. I just can't. Especially when it's about a missing pet. Look, I'm sorry that Tiger is missing and that sucks and you must be very upset, but you can't pay some asshole company 60 bucks to spam me with details about your dog. I will hang up every time. I will never listen to that message. That's absolute bullshit. Make a flyer and post that shit on a pole somewhere.

Also, you can't call it an "Amber Alert." That is a name that is reserved for missing kids. You can't take that name and just add "pet" to it and think that's OK. An Amber Alert is serious business and yes, I know pet owners think their missing pets are serious, but not as serious as a missing kid. You just can't compare the two. I've ranted on this before and I've heard that I'm a heartless asshole and it still hasn't changed my opinion. Your missing dog is not as important as a missing kid. Period.

I know all about the Do Not Call List and I'm on it. However, all of these organizations (including the damn Amber Pet Alert) are exempt and get to call me. In fact, Pet Amber Alert's site indicates they can call me four times within an hour!!

When I mentioned these calls to some friends, one commented that she's seen a flyer in her neighborhood for a missing cat. The flyer says "His name is Batman, but he answers to Bruce." Now, that's a robo call I'd actually like to hear. I imagine it would go something like this:

Have you seen me-ow?
Hi, This is Jen from Pet Amber Alert. Your neighbor Sam on Spruce Street is missing his cat. He is a tabby with white paws and kind eyes. His name is Batman, but he answers to Bruce. Sam last saw Batman downtown at the ASPCA gala event. Batman was wearing a tiny tuxedo and he was accompanied by his girlfriend, Catwoman, who answers to Laverne. Laverne is also missing, but her owner did not purchase an alert, so no description of her will be given here. Sam is uncertain as to where Batman could be. He believes that Batman is still downtown somewhere fighting crime and has perhaps lost his way back home to the mansion maybe due to a head injury. Some friends of Laverne have been floating the idea that the two cats have run off together to start a new life, but Sam is adamant that Batman would not leave without saying goodbye. If you see Batman do not try and catch him. He is a lethal killer and will most likely injure anyone who tries to nab him. He is a smart cat, but he cannot resist a damsel in distress or a bank robbery. He would most likely investigate either of these crimes and then he can be captured carefully. Sam suggests luring Batman into a cage using a fake penguin on a string while making purring sounds at the same time and saying quietly, "There, there, Batman. It's OK, The commissioner sent me."


38 comments:

  1. I'm a dog owner whose dogs have gotten loose before and I think this "Pet Amber Alert" nonsense is complete BS. Make flyers and post about it on facebook like a normal person!

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  2. "Have you seen me-ow?" Good Lawd, I died.

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  3. We ditched our home phone last year. Hearing about this makes me happy we did that.

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  4. The fact that they are using the term Amber Alert is offensive! Your pet is NOT as important as a child. Even though he is a member of the family, and he is like another child to you, he's not. That phone system is more high-tech than the actual Amber Alert system! Maybe the makers of this organization could actually start looking for missing kids!

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  5. Hehe, my cat's name IS Batman BruceWayne Ourlastname. When he is being a mischievous asshat, I yell at him using his full name. I wonder what the neighbors think...

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    1. HA!! My cat growing up was named "Boomer Esiason Cat Extraordinaire" Sooo glad my family isn't the only one that does this. (Also, all of my dogs have been male and have the middle name "Marie", a tradition started by my nutty Grandpa when I was a kid- the hubs thinks we're all nuts)

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  6. OMG!! You seriously made my day. Yes, it was shitty up until I read your post. So thanks for that. Love your blog. :)

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  7. We used to have a landline. Every morning, at 4:45 am, we would get a call from a local grocery store's fax machine. Woken up in the middle of the fucking night, to hear a fax machine scream in my ear. I called the store, they assured me they'd take our number off their fax list, but it never happened, even after repeated requests that became less and less polite. Finally, we unplugged the phone. That was five years ago. We still have a basic landline for our internet bundle, but I have no idea what our phone number is.

    I have a dog that I love, and I can confidently say this pet robocall business is bat(man) shit crazy.

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  8. I LOVE your blog but I never post...this one got me :) I almost smacked a lady once at the vet because the tech wanted me to spend $2000 to take my chih mix to the veterinary school here in town to have a CT Scan to see why he was having seizures...I told her she was BAT SHIT crazy that no way ever was I gonna spend $2000 on a dog! The lady next me looks down at my 5 year old and says "well I bet you would spend $2000 for her to have CT Scan if she needed one your pet deserves one too". OH NO SHE DIDNT! I whipped around and told her to mind her own damn business that my kid and my dog were not even in the same realm of importance. WIth my busy life the dog is lucky I remember to feed him! I left...the dog has a seizure here and there we hold him and its over....damn "my animal is my kid" people! I love the dog but COME ON!

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    1. You shouldn't have a dog, IMO. I'm not going to debate whether or not an animal is equal to a child, but I do know that when you agree to take care if an animal, it's a commitment. They are there for you and trust you to do right by them, and that includes proper care. Every time he has a seizure, he's experiencing brain damage.

      Yes, pets can be expensive, but you made the commitment. If you can't or won't follow through then adopt him out.

      Also, usually when you love someone, you remember to feed them. Just saying.

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    2. I agree 100%. Pets are not property. Have a heart for god's sake!

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    3. In total agreement here as well!

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    4. I feel sorry for your dog. Just as people who are unwilling to care for their children should not have them, you should not have a dog if you are truly "too busy to remember to feed him". Adopting an animal means taking on the commitment of good care...including caring for health issues, and yeah, remembering to put out a damn bowl of kibble. You suck.

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  9. To Ryan Dyck and augustandcatherinesmom and even Jen: All three of you stated "A pet is not as important as a child." You all stated this pretty emphatically. I'd like you to consider something: to some people, that pet is as close as they are going to get to having a child. For whatever reasons, something with four legs (or fins or scales or feathers)is what they have to nurture. Augustandcatherinesmom: the vet tech was just selling services and is an asshat for the remark. I've dealt with those kinds myself; they try to upsell you on services. Expensive ones. However, damning the people who would or could spend the $2,000 really isn't a good response. In your world (and Ryan's and Jen's), the pets take a back seat to the kids. Please consider this: for some people, that pet IS their world and it's a very lonely place without them.

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    1. So you are saying some people are mentally ill. We know that. That is not our own problem. Those people probably support PETA, which supports the execution of countless animals because they don't want to keep paying for food to feed them.

      Animals do not equal humans, ever.

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    2. Thanks all knowing one. You said it, so it must be true. No need for anyone else's opinion to be heard or respected.

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    3. If giving love to a loving and deserving creature of God makes me mentally ill, so be it. I really don't see how loving your pet fully needs to take anything away from your kids or any other human - but apparently love is a limited resource in some people's lives.

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    4. I have five cats and they are my world. If one of them were ever to go missing, I would take whatever crazy steps necessary to locate them and bring them safely home. I don't care whether that makes people think I'm crazy or too involved with my pets. They are living beings that do not understand the world outside of my home. I adopted them and am in charge of their safety and well-being. I will do anything to ensure that I provide those things. And anyone who doesn't like it can go fuck off, simple as that.

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  10. I love your blog, but I have to say, this post offended me a little.

    I can see how this could be annoying in excess. No one wants a million calls in an hour. Annoying someone isn't going to endear them to the idea of keeping an eye out for your pet.

    What I don't get, is why it's such an awful thing for someone to use this service to find their animal. Regardless of whether or not a pet is as important as a kid, which I don't really think is the point here, someone out there is panicked and sick about where their pet could be. It's not THAT big a deal to get an alert. How often does anyone stop and read a flier?

    Yes, that particular service is annoying in the way they went about it, but the basic intent seems to annoy you in an over the top, aggressive way that seems irrational to me.

    And, regardless of whether or not you agree, dismissing others' feelings about their animals with black and white statements is a little rude. You're definitely entitled to your opinion, but your opinion isn't the only opinion.

    In any case, if my pet were lost, I would hope that my neighbors would be kind enough to heed an alert and just keep an eye out as I wild for them.

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    1. Ditto. I would be absolutely panick stricken if one of my dogs was lost. They both are have chips, so IF they don't get ran over they would likely find their way back to me (that is unless it's freezing cold and no one sees them before hypothermia kicks in.)

      I would never be so reckless as to let my dogs run free or leave them unattended, but accidents happen.

      Please don't dismiss those of us who love and care for our pets!

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  11. I love my pets and yes they are a part of my family BUT I do 100% agree that they are not as important as a child. To call it an Amber alert is downright inappropriate. Amber alerts are for missing CHILDREN, human children who are kidnapped or lost. These children are in danger from sexual predators and murders. Your lost pet will NEVER be as important as saving a potential victim. This service is a good idea in theory but harassing people by calling that many times will get people to do just as you did hang up after the first few words.

    I'm a fur parent who didn't hesitate to spend $2000 to save my pet, and even though she died and we still owe that $ I wouldn't change what I did. But at the end of the day if it came down to saving a child or an animal I will pick the kid every time.

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    1. Where was the part that said you have to pick between saving an animal or a child? Surely I missed it. Hopefully you won't be missing both at the same time, and if you are by all means pick the child (really who wouldn't? that should be a given). But animals have a tendency to get lost and a responsible, loving pet owner should make every effort possible to recover that pet (animals, like children, are a CHOICE, helpless, and a responsibility). Perhaps the name Amber Alert was a bad choice - I'll give you that. But I'm still trying to see how this resource takes anything at all away from a child...

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  12. I'm pretty sure the Amber Alert is named after a girl named Amber who went missing and later found dead. So, yeah, I too am a little offended by the use of "Amber Alert".

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  13. I agree that using the term Amber Alert is wholly inappropriate. I will stay out of the crossfire in the other comments but will say that your take on the robo call concerning the missing Batman (aka Bruce) had me laughing out loud.

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  14. The only thing I have to say about this is that I don't have children. I wasn't able to have kids, so my pets ARE my kids and they get treated that way. I have six cats, A Great Dane, and an Aussie mix, soon to be 12, that I rescued from a dumpster when she was 6 months old. I would love this service to be available if I lived in a big city. I don't need it where I live now, because I live in the middle of the woods on a lake. I have no problem with it being called an amber alert, because yes, to me, my animals are as important to me as your kids, because all my children have four legs! I'd also like to think that my neighbors would be glad to help me if one of my beloved babies were missing. You're either an animal person or you're not, and I definitely am.

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  15. Oh to the lady who doesn't seem to think that animals are "victims", I suggest you google animal abuse and see some of the awful pics. I know. I post them every day trying to save them. I love this blog, but I will defend animals with my last breath. I am their voice.

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  16. Would calling it a Magenta Alert help? I'm sure no one would stop looking for a child in order to look for a kitty.

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  17. I laughed until I was crying. I NEVER read posts aloud to my husband (because he just doesn't care) and my record is intact because I was laughing so hard he couldn't understand me. Will try again or at least forward him the link. Ellen

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  18. What ever happened to the locator chip? Can't people just implant those into their pets? If they can afford these types of call services, can't they afford the chip? I'm not trying to be an asshole, I am honestly asking.

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    1. Microchips still exist and are often included with shelter adoptions. If you adopt a pet that doesn't come already chipped, you can have the procedure done at your vet's office. It's inexpensive and quick. I've performed microchip implantations on many cats and dogs and although it does hurt, a quick rub after placing the chip makes it feel better. They're well worth the peace of mind that they bring.

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  19. Normally I love you, Jen, but I wasn't a fan of this particular post. I don't see why a phone call searching for a missing pet would be a problem. As for the name of the service being offensive, people who are offended like that need to clean the sand out of their vaginas and get over themselves. I recently saw a truly terrible story on the news that a dog in my area went missing. Three weeks later he was found decapitated and burned. Someone sick did terrible things to him. If people had gotten a call to be on the lookout for him, he might have been found and returned home before he could have been abused and killed. Just as there are sickos out there that will harm missing children, there are sickos out there that abuse animals.

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  20. Hi - I just came across this blog and am very amused by it. So thanks for writing it. I wanted to chime in on this post because I have an unusual perspective of being childless and involved in animal welfare. I would be heartbroken if my "babies" went missing and am all for services that help people and pets reunite. HOWEVER - the service you are talking about takes it too far. Amber Alert is just silly. To use the name for anything other than the actual Amber Alert system is not good. As for calls and emails about lost pets most of the microchip companies have lists of people who have ASKED or AGREED to get calls and emails about missing pets in their area. For Facebook posts of this nature, the people have LIKED the organizations that send out these posts. And they work. There is an organization called Granite State Dog Recovery that just recently reunited a dog with its owners after the dog had been missing for 9 weeks and was feared dead due to a severe medical condition that needed daily care. Very many animal lovers got caught up in the search for Bear and were thrilled he has found safe. That being said - we asked to be a part of this and there are enough of us out there that no pet recovery organization should be bother people who DO NOT want to be bothered. There is nothing wrong with you not wanting to get these alerts anymore than there is something wrong with me wanting to get them. Companies and Organizations should respect our choices and the good ones will. The main difference that I see between the Pet Amber Alert and an organization like Granite State Dog Recovery is that one is a business in it to make money and the other is a charity, run by volunteers who just want to reunite people with their pets. So feel free to get mad at the "services" that are just in it for the money and tell them to leave you alone. But keep in mind that some organizations are not in it for the money and if you accidentally end up on one of their lists, a polite "please remove me" is all it take.

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  21. My animals are my children.I would be just as grief stricken and traumatized by losing one of my animals as a person losing a human child.To those who think animals are not equal to or as important as humans--that is just your own subjective opinion and it is not shared by someone like me who has found animals to be far more loving and accepting than a lot of human beings.In my opinion they have far more to offer than a lot of so-called human beings.To those offended by the name Amber Alert and its function in society--Get over your petty,superficial selves!There are far more things in this world to be angered and offended by.And to those who think animals are not victims--animal cruelty is commonplace in this world.After reading some of the rude,insensitive,ignorant and idiotic remarks on this post I am glad have animals for children instead of humans!

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  22. hi. just wanted to say you're a complete fucking asshole. my pets ARE as important as a child. some of us can't have human children. not everyone is able to shit out kids left & right. these 2 little animals are my life, and if they went missing I'd lose a piece of myself. so fuck u a thousand times over. just fuck u.

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