We thought we’d take a moment to tell you how important it is to change your welcome messages on your voicemail and answering machines if your pet goes missing. Even though this is a task that many owners of lost dogs overlook, the importance of changing your messages to reflect your dog’s status as “missing” cannot be overstated.
Because most people cannot always answer their phone, it is important for you to realize that your recorded greeting is what will make a first impression on someone who is trying to share information about your lost pet when you are not available to take a call. If your message does not indicate that your dog is lost and you are trying to recover your pet, but are simply unable to answer the phone at that exact moment, the caller may decide you don’t really want your dog back. Or the person may think you don’t deserve to get your dog back since you didn’t have a moment to pick up the phone.
Right or wrong, people can be justifiably or unduly judgmental. So it’s vital that your message communicate that your dog is currently missing, you are eager to have your pet returned to you because you love and care for him or her, and that you will respond to any caller who leaves a message for you as quickly as possible, as the following exemplary message does:
“Wait! Please don’t hang up! I have a lost dog. If you are calling because you think you saw my dog, please leave a message. I’ll return your call as soon as I possibly can. Thank you for your help!”
Look at it this way. If one of your family members was missing, any caller could be trying to contact you to share information necessary for your loved one to make it back home. And since many of us view our pets as children, the circumstances are very similar, meaning every caller could provide information that helps you get your dog back.
So it is imperative that you change your voicemail and answering machine greetings to messages that will encourage, not dissuade people to leave messages for you. Simply changing your messages can be the difference between someone choosing to leave a helpful message for you or not. It could mean the difference between your dog being returned to you or not, in other words.
To create your free flyer and social media links to help you generate sightings of your missing dog please file a report with our partner, Pet FBI at www.petfbi.org. One of our volunteers will post your dog’s listing to the appropriate state or provincial page.