Hello Volunteers!

***SATURDAY MORNING SEARCH PARTY: VOLUNTEERS, WE WILL BE STARTING AT THE VALLEY GREEN INN ON FORBIDDEN DRIVE AT 7:00AM. PLEASE TRY TO BE AT LEAST 10 MINUTES EARLY. THERE ARE TWO LOTS FOR PARKING AND A TRAIL THAT LEADS TOWARDS HENRY AVENUE. WE WILL BE WORKING FROM THAT TRAIL SOUTH, TOWARDS JANNETTE STREET.

THE WISSAHICKON IS HOME TO SOME PRETTY ROUGH TERRAIN AND PLENTY OF NOOKS AND CRANNIES. SOMEWHERE, HIDING IN THAT VAST WILDERNESS, IS OUR SHIRLEY GIRL. WE WILL BE TREKKING THROUGH BRUSH, WETLANDS, ROCKY OUTCROPS, AND DEWY MEADOWS, SO PLEASE COME PREPARED. LONG PANTS MADE OF THICK MATERIAL, WATERPROOF, PROTECTIVE SHOES WITH LOTS OF TREAD, A LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET, GLOVES, AND BUG SPRAY WILL BE EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

IF WE HAVE ENOUGH WILLING VOLUNTEERS, WE MAY TURN AROUND FROM JANNETTE AND SEARCH AGAIN. PLEASE E-MAIL TO CONFIRM YOU’VE RECEIVED THESE INSTRUCTIONS, CHANGING YOUR E-MAIL SUBJECT TO “CONFIRMED.”
YOUR DEDICATED SUPPORT HAS BEEN A MUCH-NEEDED CRUTCH FOR OUR TROUBLED HEARTS. YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL!

Hello everyone, my name is Jocelyn, I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer in Philadelphia. I have been in contact with Alissa, Shirley’s owner, who has asked me to help organize our volunteer efforts. While we’ve had many people come out, we have so far lacked any kind of organized effort which may be more effective in pinpointing Shirley’s location. Any volunteers who are interested may contact me, so we can find a place for you in one of the volunteer efforts. Please note this page is a work in progress.

JOCELYN’S CONTACT INFO: LIFEINAPACK@GMAIL.COM E-MAIL IS NOW THE BEST, MOST RELIABLE FORM OF COMMUNICATION FOR ME.

Volunteer Efforts will be broken down as follows:

A) DISTRIBUTE INFORMATION, HOME-BASED:

Everyone can do this. If you are not in our immediate area or otherwise unable to make your way out, please help by sharing this page with as many people as possible. Social media is our best friend here. The more people that know, the more people who may want to help. This is essential to our overall effort and takes only just a few moments! This may lead to more tips, since many dogs wander the Wissahickon off-leash and I never think twice about it, knowing the owner must be simply out of sight. If people are aware she is lost, they will be more apt to call in the sighting.

B) DISTRIBUTE INFORMATION, STREET-BASED:

Many areas surrounding the Wissahickon are PACKED with people. We could always use help distributing flyers to pedestrians. Again, the more people that know, the more people who are willing to help out. The people we are trying hardest to reach are locals! People who may see her in their own backyards, on their daily commute, along their walk or jog, or at their school! Good places to reach people are Dalessandro’s (please ask business manager for permission to leave flyers and do not harass the patrons), the Sunoco on Walnut Lane and Henry Avenue (do not harass patrons), Saul Agricultural School (before or after school hours), local area horse stables, and all along Forbidden Drive, particularly at trail heads that lead to areas Shirley was recently seen.

Standing around, flyer in extended hand, calmly saying aloud “Lost black great dane in the Wissahickon” to passersby will catch people’s attention without disturbing their walks. Keeping these phrases short but informative is best, since they will ignore you if you try to stop them and go on and on. Hold a flyer out, but not in a forceful way. It is an offer, it is optional for people to take it. Being passive will get you farther than being aggressive. If they haven’t seen her yet, it doesn’t mean they won’t later. Keeping flyers small will save paper and people will be more likely to take them. We NEED our contact information available to the public. Animal Control will not come out right away, they don’t have the manpower to stop everything and come out to search for Shirley, they will have other calls to attend to if they came in first. It could take HOURS, which is time we don’t have.

C) SEARCH PARTY:
****9/11/12 PLANNING AN ORGANIZED SEARCH FOR WEDNESDAY DURING THE DAY, VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 5PM AND 7PM. WE WILL NEED A VERY LARGE GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS! E-MAIL ME WITH AVAILABILITY AND BEST FORM OF CONTACT.****

Many people have been able to help out with this, and that is AWESOME! Now, let’s try to organize these efforts in such a way that enables us to work together. I’d like to set up “observation stations” in the areas surrounding where Shirley was last seen along with coordinating “shifts.” These will be marked off with biodegradable twine, and will be for stationary observation ONLY. What we need out there right now are EYES, not voices, and not people trekking through the woods spreading scents that may drive Shirley further away. She is more likely to come out during times where there is little to no foot traffic, and having people out looking for her at these times only increases the foot traffic and lessens her chances of staying in the area. One major thing has been consistent with Shirley’s sightings, IF SHE SEES YOU, SHE BOLTS. Our goal, then, is to not be seen. You are to stand at the observation station, QUIETLY, and observe in all directions, up close and farther into the distance. Imagine you are looking for a stealthy, elusive panther, not a large black dog clumsily trotting through the woods. Changing your mindset will change the way you look, and open your eyes and other sense a little more.

ANY SIGHTINGS ARE TO BE DOCUMENTED IN LOCATION, EXACT TIME, INCLUDE AS MANY DETAILS AS POSSIBLE, AND IMMEDIATELY BE REPORTED. DO NOT PURSUE, DO NOT MAKE NOISE, DO NOT LET HER KNOW YOU ARE THERE. WE ARE TRYING TO PINPOINT HER LOCATION, AND PREDICT WHERE SHE WILL BE AND WHEN.

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER:

1) DO NOT CALL OUT FOR SHIRLEY

2) DO NOT PURSUE SHIRLEY IF SHE IS SEEN

3) DO NOT BRING ANY MEDICATION WITH YOU (SHE HAS BEEN COMPLETELY OFF HER HIGH DOSAGE OF PREDNISONE FOR ALMOST TWO WEEKS, GIVING HER ANY AMOUNT COULD HAVE EXTREMELY ADVERSE AFFECTS WITHOUT DIRECT SUPERVISION FROM A VET FAMILIAR WITH HER CONDITION).

4) IF SHIRLEY IS SIGHTED, DOCUMENT IT AND CALL IT IN ASAP.

HELPFUL FILES:

OBSERVATION STATIONS WILL BE SET UP 9/11/12 FOR VOLUNTEERS, ALL OBSERVATION STATIONS ARE HIGHLIGHTED ON THESE IMAGES IN THE GREEN RECTANGLES. THE RED CIRCLE IS A PARKING LOT AVAILABLE FOR USE DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS.

MISSING DOG – SHIRLEY’S MISSING DOG FLYER

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP AND DEDICATED PASSION!