Make sure your search is conducted in a intelligent manor
not an emotional one. Make sure your wearing comfortable clothes and stay
hydrated and everyone should have a cell phone with the local police and a
search leaders phone number pre programmed into it. If anyone has to leave
the search for any reason notify the team leader. When its time to end the
search meet back at the original meeting place to compare notes. Give
yourself enough time before and after the search to go over your thoughts
with everyone without being rushed.
Get some of your friends together that are willing to
go door to door and hand out flyers (We have two flyers you can
download and use: Download Free Lost Dog flyer With Tear off or Free Color Lost Dog Flyer - (click
save then open) or if you want to use your own keep the information
simple, too much information on the flyer and the people will lose interest
or not bother reading. Make sure you have enough flyers for everyone.
Designate a place and time to meet up a head of time
to go over all the things that need to be done and designate a search
leader. A good idea is to meet up at a public place like a park that's
in the area so you do not cause a mob seen at the location that's
going to be canvassed
Elect one person to be in charge and analyze the
information gathered. This person should have all the searchers phone
numbers programmed into their cell phone in advance
Print out a street map of the area you want to cover
so you can keep a record of what's going on. Every volunteer should
have one to put their thoughts and notes on.
Use at least two volunteers per street. one takes the
even side and one takes the odd side and work together to be safe,
remember there is strength in numbers.
Notify the local police BEFORE you conduct your
search so if any trouble arises or someone reports you to the police
the police will know why your their.
Everyone should take their cell phone with them. Its
also a good idea to pre-program the Police and the Search leaders
phone numbers in them so you don't have to fumble around if a call
needs to be made.
Be courteous and respect peoples feelings and
property. We have, in the past, gotten several complaints from people
and townships for another group of searchers, not associated with us
that were going onto peoples properties without notifying them first.
Since these home owners were already interviewed by our group and were
handed out our business cards it was assumed that we were the ones trespassing
Don't let this happen to you!
While talking to people be professional introduce
yourself 1st then state your cause. Assure them that all information
will be kept confidential and if they tell you something relay it immediately
to your search leader after your interview.
One other thing we do is that everybody uses
clipboards, it gives a more professional look to your group and puts
peoples mind at ease a little when answering their doors.
You will run across people that are not sympathetic to
your search and can be down right nasty. I, personally, was almost run
over, on purpose by an middle aged gentleman riding a bike in Holiday
City. Just keep your composure and move on. There are more people
willing to help then not.
You will also see that some good people want to help
but have nothing to offer so they do make up stories, follow up on
what they tell you to determine if its the truth or not then move on.
Last but not least. Devise some rules and guidelines
for the group to follow. Again stay professional and be patient give
the person your interviewing your undivided attention and report back
to your team leader on anything you think might be useful.