November 2, 2011 —
When their beloved black Labrador retriever, Duke, went missing in Eldred recently, owners Linda and Norman Bohs turned to an unconventional search process that not only led to the dog’s recovery, but also caused a stir at the monthly meeting in the Town of Highland.
The Internet-based tool, FindToto.com successfully located Duke by blanketing the surrounding area with phone calls and messages left on answering machines.
“I received a call,” exclaimed one resident after another, as town clerk Doreen Hanson announced the news with the intent to make town residents aware that the resource exists for owners of lost pets.
The self-dubbed “America’s ‘Amber Alert’ emergency broadcast system for lost, stolen and found pets has been profiled on most major television networks and boasts a 78.2% success rate within 48 hours of the pet’s disappearance and a 68% success rate after 48 hours.
“Duke left on a Wednesday at 5 p.m.,” said Linda. “We looked in ditches and the woods. He’s a field lab, with very long legs, so he can cover a lot of ground and we figured he was in the forest.” When the dog failed to return, the couple called local shelters and dog wardens without success, then signed up for one of the calling packages offered by FindToto.com.
The service enters the exact address of where a pet was last seen into its mapping system, which serves as the center point of the search area, pulling the data of phone numbers in a radius starting from the center point out. The phone numbers are then uploaded to an automated calling system where thousands of calls are made in minutes. A Toto Alert message is delivered, which includes the pet’s description, date lost, contact information and more. Samples can be heard on the website.
Five days after his disappearance, the Bohs received a call from another town resident saying, “I’ve got Duke.” According to Linda, Jennifer Schneider had received a call from FindToto.com and from the description, recognized the dog in her driveway. The families live approximately a mile from one another.
“We were overjoyed,” said Linda, “and just amazed at how well it worked.”
Visit www.FindToto.com  for more information.