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Amber alerts for your missing pets

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently wrote about my first experience receiving a Lost Dog poster by mail, read it here.  I was intrigued as I looked up the information on this service.  What does lost pet alert services do for the standby dog tags or microchipping?  Is it a compliment or will some try to using to replace proper identification?

Some bullet points on LostMyDoggie.com

  • Flyers sent by mail to pet businesses ($40-$60)
  • Phone alert to neighbors ($75)
  • Fees to add on Facebook post to their site ($4.95)
  • Fees to add to the front of their website ($5.95)
How the service has helped in finding pets:
  • Based on the phone alerts, and “seen” reports moved the posted flyers to a different area of town, i.e. 8 miles away.
In doing the research, I found another site that seems to have more traction in the market for lost pet alert services, FindToto.com. 
  • Phone alert to neighbors ($85-875)
  • Estimate tool estimates the number of homes in a 1 mile radius
  • Published success rate of 78% within 48 hours, 68 % after 48 hours
  • Does not currently offer mailings/ call or other notification to pet professionals (i.e. shelters, veterinarians etc)
Both services are DNC (Do Not Call) list exempt.
Many of the users of these services testify to having an important, yet indirect influence on finding their pet.  For example, moving the posted flyers further East, based on sightings.  Many others report the service did not attribute at all to their pet being found.  They would have found them otherwise or they came home on their own.  The service for these folks was more for their peace of mind that the word was getting out and they were doing all they could.
There are numerous other services like these.  Like VHS was to Beta, the ideal situation would be for one service to gain traction.  This would increase the chances of a lost pet and a found pet being matched.
At this point, I can’t see that either site is working with any of the known websites to connect a good samaritan that found a pet with the pet’s family.  The sites have their own pages to post and search, but do not seem to interact or offer posting to the more common sites for lost pets.
Examples of possible collaborations include: petfinder.com, craigslist.com, fidofinder.com, tabbytracker.com, pets911.com, missingpets.com, foundandlostpets.com and thepetrescue.com.
What are your thoughts?  Would you use a lost pet alert service?
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Blacklisted Dogs May be Liberated

July 5, 2011 9 comments

For some homeowners, insurance had gone to the dogs…  There may now be a way to bite back.

Aggressive Dog

Akita, Boerboel, Chow, Doberman, Kyiapso, Mastiff, American Bandogge Mastiff, Neopolitan Mastiff, Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, English Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Wolf Hybrid.

What do these breeds have in common?  As far as most insurance companies are concerned, they all typically constitute an unacceptable risk.  In 2010, dog bites accounted for over 1/3 of homeowner’s insurance liability claims, and the average dog bite claim cost over $26,000. These two factors make insuring a home with one of the above mentioned “aggressive” breeds an unappealing prospect for an insurance company.

No one can deny that many of these breeds come with a less than stellar reputation.  However, when an agent has to decline a policy because of a dog, the typical response is something along the lines of, “My dog is a great pet,” or “Not my Fluffy, she’s the nicest dog in the world.”  Unfortunately the response from the agent is usually, “I’m sorry.”  Now, however, the agent can say, “Prove it.”

Allied Insurance has recently changed its guidelines regarding the previously black listed dogs.  Owners of the above mentioned breeds now have the opportunity to have their dog evaluated for certification as an AKC Canine Good Citizen.  Once the dog has successfully passed this test, and has no other previous bite history, it is no longer considered unacceptable by Allied.  Owners of an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen now have the opportunity to obtain a quality insurance product, without exclusion of coverage for dog bites.  (New policies are subject to all underwriting guidelines to determine acceptability, including those regarding dogs.)

Please pass this information along to those people you know who own one of the breeds listed, homeowner or not.    They likely do not have as comprehensive insurance package as they now could.  Even worse, their current insurance provider likely does not know about their dog and they are at risk of losing their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance should the dog be discovered by the insurance company.

Contact Will Lockwood at Brenk & Company Insurance, (707) 526-1195, for any questions regarding homeowner’s insurance and your dog, and contact Robyn Kesnow, Animal RN at (707) 695-2500 for any questions regarding the AKC Canine Good Citizen program.

Canine Good Citizen…my dog’s not trained, he’ll never pass

July 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Your dog may surprise you; give him a chance.

This link is to the AKC Participant’s Handbook for the CGC program.  It explains each of the 10 stations your dog will go thru during the evaluation.  There is no such thing as failing a CGC, you just don’t pass and depending on the situation, you can either repeat a station or try again another time.

Why would you want to do the Canine Good Citizen test?  The first and main reason is for your protection.  Whether you run into a home or renters insurance company that won’t cover your home or if you ever have to prove to a court or the Animal Control Agency that your dog is not vicious, the CGC certificate shows that you are a responsible guardian of your dog.  And we can never forget bragging rights, your best friend will be the talk of all his dog-park buddies with his new accomplishment under his belt.

Resources:

More information about the CGC program.

Our next CGC test: July 17, 2011 at Rincon Valley Park in Santa Rosa, email: info@animalrn.com $15 advance registration, $20 day of.

Canines that pass will receive a special CGC Bandana and certificate from Animal RN

After you pass your CGC, show off your accomplishment with a special tag.

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