Please help find Rumble!   www.globalspan.net/lost.htm

 

Small Paws Rescue Inc.

 

 

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

918-638-5854

 

               

                                www.smallpawsrescue.org

 

Press Release

Contact: Robin Pressnall

Phone: (918) 638-5854

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2002

Virtual Search and Rescue unfolds in Virginia

Modern day technology expands search capabilities for a SHILOH SHEPHERD on his Incredible Journey home. 

When a pet owner’s dog or cat turns up missing, they often rely on the lost and found ads and a few flyers posted in their local neighborhood.  But what do you do if your pet is nearly 150 miles from home, resembles a wolf, and was lost in the suburbs of a large city after being raised in the mountains?  That was the challenge facing the owners of Raid the Wind’s Ready to Rumble (Rumble), a Shiloh Shepherd that escaped while in Chester, Virginia and then proceeded to begin the long trek home to Crabtree Falls, adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Diane McClure, the lost dog’s human mom, quickly determined that she better use every modern resource at her disposal if she was to prevent “Rumble” from being mistaken for a dangerous animal, loose in the big city.  Almost overnight and with the help of some savvy friends and fellow dog-lovers, they launched a low-budget but sophisticated dog hunt designed to raise enough awareness to save Rumble the long trek home to Nelson County, VA.  The ever expanding “Where’s Rumble” website offers information about his appearance, maps of where he has been spotted, and a description of the best way to approach him. It is combined with links to the growing list of private and public groups and businesses that have remotely pitched in to help with the search.  Over 50,000 paper flyers have been distributed by "friends of Rumble" - - some of whom have used their own vacation time to help search for him.  The website provides accurate and up-to-date information to the general public, whose interest continues to grow about the gentle giant.  Almost instantly, Rumble’s page generated more than 500 “hits” per day.  Then community websites, like www.myfarmville.com featured animated “wanted posters” that linked the viewer back to Rumble’s website.

As calls came into the mountain command post, Diane McClure would redirect the search efforts of volunteers tracking Rumble's path.  Local search teams (including Diane’s husband) were equipped with cell phones and were quickly on the scene whenever another sighting was reported.  These dog trackers also relayed information from people in the localities back to Diane.  One homeowner in the Deer Run Subdivision in Midlothian, VA reported a mournful, wolf-like howling that arose from the streambed behind their home at night.  A twelve-year-old boy had his hands on Rumble the day after seeing the flyer, only to have him elude early capture.  That type of information was reported back to the command center in Nelson County, where Diane would relay the information to Rumble's Webmaster in Northern Virginia, who would in turn issue an "Update" report on Rumble’s page.  If new flyers needed to be printed with fresh information, the searchers could go to any printshop and download the freshly updated version from Rumble's website.

Whenever the new information on the website prompted another call to Diane, she would alert the local search team to re-deploy to a new area.  “If there was a question about topography, internet mapping programs and even satellite imagery (www.terrafly.com) gave us the bird’s eye view that we needed to direct local search efforts," said McClure.  “Modern technology may be the reason that we save Rumble.”

On August 16th, the virtual search effort achieved a satisfying breakthrough when Sandra Lowery and her trained tracking dog, "Slady," positively confirmed a sighting just east of the James River in Buckingham County.  Unfortunately, they had to stop following Rumble since he had become aware he was being followed and was running away.  "No dog was ever caught by chasing it," McClure said.

  The virtual search and rescue effort soon began has taken on a life of its own.  The Webmaster, owner of one of Rumble's littermates, updates the site daily.  Large groups of people have been alerted by shared e-mail messages and Internet forums describing Rumble’s journey home from Virginia’s state capital.  Supporters come from far and wide.  Friends of Rumble have sent heartwarming wishes from as far away as Australia and Sweden and have posted links to Rumble's page from their own websites. People have driven for miles, just to help post flyers in the vicinity of the latest sighting.  Community associations and animal-related groups all passed the word along their favored electronic paths.  By way of the Internet, countless groups and caring individuals conveyed the link to Rumble's page, visited his website, and printed and posted the “Watch for Rumble” flyer, often with Rumble's signature green ribbon attached.  The cyber volunteers keep returning to find out the latest news and perpetuate the message. Rumble’s “Gratitude” page thanks the ever-growing electronic posse who care about a dog at-large and alone. 

“We didn’t think we had a chance of finding Rumble, but through the mixture of modern technology and the kindness of strangers, we have converted a hopeless situation into a remarkable blessing,” observed Diane McClure.

Rumble has been tracked to Yogaville, just west of the James River in Buckingham County.  The virtual search continues and information keeps coming in from the growing list of people who have never met, but who have found a means of helping a family in need.  While technology has made life faster and the world a lot smaller, people still rise to the call for help.  Whether pounding the pavement or pressing computer keys, Rumble, the traveling canine, appears to have thousands of friends monitoring his progress and working for his safe return.

Additional information is available at www.globalspan.net/lost.htm or by calling Diane McClure, her husband Don Guillory, or Wendy Fullerton at 540-377-9865.

 

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