Cold called by

I don’t like getting calls from strangers.  I’m on the national do not call list for that reason, and whenever the “We’re taking a survey” creeps call I give them the short spiel:

Them: Hello, we’re taking a survey and not soliciting anything –

Me: Remove my number from your list and never call me again. Goodbye and have a nice day.

And then I hang up.  I don’t know if it really works but I get less and less calls.

Robo-calling is pathetic.  When you get a call from a system, they intentionally leave out anyway to get off their list. Politicians use robo-calling and I think that is the worst thing I can say about that.

I just got a call from  Apparently one of my neighbors lost a beige chihuahua and is using this service to find their dog.  I’ve had pets so I can sympathize but I don’t have to like it. uses a service called Call-em-All. While tracking down lost pets is admirable, does not do that; they annoy neighbors. I went to that web site and opt-ed out.

Call-em-All’s name sounds like a problem right there.  If people don’t like getting calls from strangers, how exactly will they feel about getting an automated call without an easy non-Internet connected way to make it stop? It’s all automated so how is this not a problem for people like me who are registered with the DNC list?

Sigh, I’m in the technology business but some business ideas should have been put down in it’s infancy.

34 thoughts on “Cold called by

  1. auto calling people about a lost dog is just plain garbage. i love dogs and wish i could have one. im disabled and have lots of neighbors who are very old (one is 99) for some of us to answer a phone is very difficult. maybe instead of being lazy you could of put flyers around. im also tired of people in verona that dont tie up their dogs and let them bark. ive had dogs in the past but also trained them. what about caring about your neighbor

  2. I think it’s a very good idea. these phone calls have nothing to do do with “caring about your fn neighbor” get over yourself. this isn’t garbage or lazy. it’s just one extra way to help find your pet. sigh, get over your disabled self and stop hating. you can get a dog. my sister has been in a wheel chair half her life and she cares for 2dogs!!
    this is a reply to doug cook

  3. i would never judge your sister, being disabled is a pain. every disabled person has their own challenges and you cant judge people. i was born with a serious health problems (heart), bi-polar, sleep apnea and developed a spinal cord problem. i was a guinea pig in the surgeries i had, these surgeries kept me alive but left me disabled. i enjoy my life beyond the fullest and dealt with my health issues and my life. IM VERY LUCKY TO BE ALIVE AND VERY THANKFUL. having a dog could only be a dream because my health is that unstable. doug

  4. Erin,

    I’m happy to hear about your sister, and honestly pets are family and excellent companions. The fact that your sister is caring for two dogs shows a great commitment on her part. Doing so while being disabled is remarkable and says a lot about her great character.

    The problem that I have is this: robo calling should not call people who are on the National Do Not Call list. It does not matter if their cause is “good”, people made a decision to not receive unsolicited calls and that needs to be respected. (and politicians) are making excuses by having people “opt-out” of their system after they get a call. I already opted out when I signed up for the national DNC list.

    Had they actually used a trained person via a call bank system, I would have preferred that to being robo called. That would have been more expensive to and I suspect would impact their bottom line.

  5. I was very sad to see someone in my area had lost their dog… The dog excaped from the dog sitter, by accident … I can only imagine the pain everyone is in … Owner and dog sitter alike… Flyers have been posted everywhere, sometimes that just isn’t enough … I was happy to get the phone call and have passed the site on to everyone I have passed during my dog walks ….! For anyone that has ever lost their pet, this is an invaluable service and I can only hope that people will pull together and help find what is lost…

  6. I’m writing a story about the missing pet notification system and am looking for folks who are bothered by the calls. Would love to talk with folks about why they find the messages intrusive.

    [e-mail removed]

  7. Lori,

    I’ve removed the e-mail on display on the comment; I don’t want this blog to become a place to harvest e-mail addresses.

    I’ll reply back via e-mail shortly, after I’ve had some dinner 🙂

    Jan Dembowski

    Edit: Lori, I sent an e-mail but the server rejected the mail as Recipient Unkown.

  8. I’m just plain annoyed by people calling my phone number except for legitimate reasons to talk to me. That’s why I registered with the national Do Not Call list. Everyone, including, is supposed to comply with the law. People who are lonely and like to get calls from anyone at any time can choose to not register on the Do Not Call list.

  9. This isin responce to Mike Pierce.I am also on the do not call list.I received a call this morning saying there was a little sheltie missing.Since I have a sheltie myself,and he was lost a couple of years ago.I knew the pain the owner was going through.My husband and I got in our car and searched for hours.To some of us our pets are part of our family.To those of you that can’t be bothered by a phone call.I wonder how you would feel if it were your child missing.Maybe we should get rid of the Amber alert also.

  10. Carolyn,

    I’m sorry that you lost your sheltie, and it was very good of you and your husband to go out and look for that missing dog. Considering you own loss, that was a very kindhearted response on your part.

    Do you know if the missing dog was found? Was FindToto’s call really useful or did it merely assuage the pain that the owners were going through?

    Good intentions does not make it right to call people who simply put, do not want to be bothered.

    Comparing this to an Amber alert is extreme; no missing animal in the world can be compared to any missing child. And if you notice, Amber alerts are important and are sometimes life saving. And they do not cold call people in the vicinity of the missing child.

    I do not agree with a harsh response to getting a call when I am on the Do Not Call list. Getting that call in annoying, and that’s it.

    All I would like to see is that respect the time and privacy of people who signed onto the national Do Not Call list and refrain from calling them.

  11. I just heard a message left by a robo-call from, mentioning a missing black cat supposedly lost in my neighborhood. I have some doubt about the authenticity of that. For one thing, I’m not sure how they’d know what “neighborhood” I’m in unless they’ve done some very careful combing of a criss-cross to find phone numbers in a particular area (which is conceivable but would probably cost something). For another thing, I’ve seen no notices posted in my neighborhood about this missing cat; if it really is missing and really is in my neighborhood, it seems lazy of the owner not to put up pictures and yet be willing to trouble all sorts of people with these robo-calls.

    1. I understand where your coming from but right now I am looking for my dog and the city bans any kind of missing pet signs. Only sign allowed is for yard sale, not tacked to any city post, for daytime hours only. This has restricted my efforts to get the word out about my missing dog. This service is just another option for a desperate pet owner. I have good/bad feelings about them ignoring the do not call list but almost everyone is on it and that would leave very few people to call for help finding lost pets.

  12. I received a call from ‘’ yesterday. The folks who lost their dog live about 1/4 mi. from me. Organized a neighborhood search and the dog was located within 2 hours (after receiving the call). works great!!!

  13. Does a success/fail web page exist for their actual success rate? I mean one with time call went out versus time the pet arrived at home graph.

    I’m glad that it worked out and that dog was found but that’s not the point I’m trying to make. People like me have made a decision to not receive unsolicited phone calls. is a commercial service. According to their web page at their packages start at $95.

    I don’t care what their excuse is, I signed up for the national DNC list, they are a commercial service provider, and they call people who that they are not supposed to call.

  14. FindToto got my dog found within 30 minutes. Go dig a hole and stay in it if you don’t want to be bothered!

  15. KM,

    I deleted your other comments simply because I don’t tolerate childish insulting comments left on my blog. This one comment is the least insulting and I’m leaving it as an object lesson.

    If someone wants to have a rational discussion, then feel free to participate. Calling people “retard”, “jackass”, “a real selfish ass” will not be put up with and will get your IP address banned.

    Jan Dembowski

  16. I am happy for people who have lost and found their animals, but the call I received just mentioned the name of the dog and the first name of the owner. Since I live in a townhouse I don’t know everyone’s name and have no way of knowing is this call is even valid.
    By the way, the call did give me the option of not receiving further calls.

  17. I just received my first “FindToto” call the other day. Was surprised to get it as I am also on the DNC list. Buuuuut ……… being an avid animal lover, I was happy to get the call.
    I think they are doing a valuable service – even though the fee is a little steep.
    Soooo …. for those of us who consider our pets “family members”, it is a welcome call in our house ! 🙂

  18. I’m on the DNC list too.
    This is NOT solicitation. Get over yourselves. Have you folks ever owned, loved, cared for, and LOST your pet through no fault of yours and b/c it simply happens?
    Have you ANY idea the level of pain and grief that it brings? This call to neighbors idea is GREAT. We all have neighbors. We all live amongst people. We don’t live like hermits in caves. (although it seems some of you seem to wish you did- and quite honestly, the world would be a better place without such “attitude” permeating everywhere. What is so wrong with getting ONE call like this?
    I just don’t get people and how closed-minded they are and so tightly gripped to their small, self-centered, sad little worlds.
    I can see you folks who place the importance of not being disturbed ABOVE simple things like being neighborly, helpful, community-oriented really need help. We’re all suffering on some level.
    this service helps. Period.

  19. Andrea,

    I think you realize that that’s not the point. This is not about finding pets, it’s about respecting people who just don’t want unsolicited calls for whatever reason they choose. is a commercial service. They do respect when people are on the Direct Marketing Association and not call them then. See this link from their website.

    That’s hypocritical don’t you think? They ignore the national DNC list but respect the DNC list from the Direct Marketing Association.

    This is not a non-profit service, this is not a charity, and they do not do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it so that more people will use their service and they will continue to profit from that.

    There is nothing wrong with that and I wish all the success in the world. Additionally, anyone who uses their service, I hope they quickly recover their loved pet.

    But I do want them to respect the national DNC list and not require people like me (as well as others) to opt out using another marketing list with who knows conditions.

    I already opted out with the national DNC list. Why do I need to do so again?

  20. Jan
    I feel “it” as in this subject in all its entirety, is about BOTH issues equally.
    However, your reason(s) for opening this discussion seems to be about feeling as though your wish to not be contacted/solicited NOT be disregarded.
    I think the “service”, whether paid for (which, I assume, is the option of and a decision by the person investing) is a very useful one, whether there is a fee (again, a choice made by the person using the service) or no fee.

    You seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands to spend on this subject.
    I wish I had that kind of time. I’m busy trying to run my own businesses and eke out a living. Oh, and to try to make this world a better place.

  21. Andrea,

    In no particular order: “You seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands to spend on this subject.” Well yes, this is my blog and I make the time when I want. I’m glad that you have time too if you can check up and reply back. Discussion is good and healthy and people can disagree in a reasonable way.

    I don’t think that we’re that far apart on this business. I feel it’s important to respect other people’s wishes regardless of my understanding those wishes. You think people like me live in a cave and should just get over ourselves.

    If you can’t respect the desires of other people, then how are you trying to make this world a better place?

    I’ll just say we disagree and I’ll leave it at that.

  22. is BS artists attempt at getting around the law. No one likes spam, be it email or voicemail. is abusing the privacy and telecommunications of the general public. I am pissed off enough at them for their abuses that if I found a pet I sure as Hell wouldn’t call them back. So, for those of you paying these creeps, just remember how much they are pissing off the general public and what that might do to your chances of getting your pet back.

  23. I understand people not wanting to be bothered by telemarketers trying to solicit products and services but is an attempt to locate, essentially, lost loved ones.

    To say that a pet isn’t as important to someone as a child is a bit false. To some people who possibly couldn’t have children pets are their babies and they would do anything in their power to find them.

    Your not wanting to be bothered by someone’s plee for help finding their loved one is just disheartening.

    Are people really this uncaring? Is this what our society has become?

    It’s NOT SPAM. It’s a CHOICE. You can answer the phone if you want. We all almost have caller id or at least have some manner of seeing the number of who’s calling. If you don’t want to be disturbed then JUST DON’T ANSWER.

    And remember, these are your neighbors here. If we were a more caring society that communicated with our neighbors in the first place we wouldn’t need technology like this…but we’re not. And unfortunately we do need it.

    Really people… Have a little compassion.

  24. Jeff,

    This blog post sure has legs and most of the feedback, while emphatic, has been good.

    Your not wanting to be bothered by someone’s plee for help finding their loved one is just disheartening.

    Are people really this uncaring? Is this what our society has become?

    Some of the responses above (it’s a fun read) do come across harshly. I’m not uncaring, I just consider that not respecting my wishes is disrespectful.

    No one seems to have an answer to why FindToto respects the do not call list from the direct marketing association but not the National DNC list? They are a for profit service and their behavior is hypocritical.

    It’s NOT SPAM. It’s a CHOICE.

    Sorry but it’s SPAM.

    Signing up for the National DNC list is the method of “opting out” for this phone SPAM. The fact that they have their own separate (but not the NDNC list) method for opting out means they understand that it’s something that some people do not want to receive. They need to respect peoples wishes the first time via the DNC list.

    Jan Dembowski

  25. Isn’t this why we have CRAIGSLIST?

    This system needs improvement.
    When you first hear the call, it sounds scammy.
    What they need to do is start out with an introduction of who they are because caller ID says “FIND TOTO” but the dog they are looking for has a different name. I almost hung up.

    THIS IS NOT CHEAP! $175-$250 is the minimum you must pay in most urban areas. Craigslist is FREE and it’s the site most people use for anything lost and found, but Craigslist does not call your neighbors. Also, wouldn’t the dog end up at a local shelter? Just call every local shelter!

    The page at SUCKS! There are no links to get more info about this company or to add your own lost pet. It’s not obvious, but you must go to, not to add your lost pet.

    I think the only way for this company to become a house-hold word, would be to cut their fees in half and re-record their message to sound less scammy.

  26. Jan,

    Why not give up your landline so nobody calls you. Obviously you have plenty of time to be on your blog so why talk on the phone. Surely it would affect your ability to engage with other people or at the least show some respect or care for other people. Or you could get a dog and take a walk around the neighborhood and get off the computer. Have a nice day Jan.


    1. Bryan,

      Thanks for the input and suggestion. Not very original but still, I value your input and you are polite.

      I’m a little pressed for time, being on the phone and all, so I’ll just recycle my reply to Andrea.


      In no particular order: “You seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands to spend on this subject.” Well yes, this is my blog and I make the time when I want. I’m glad that you have time too if you can check up and reply back. Discussion is good and healthy and people can disagree in a reasonable way.

      I don’t think that we’re that far apart on this business. I feel it’s important to respect other people’s wishes regardless of my understanding those wishes. You think people like me live in a cave and should just get over ourselves.

      If you can’t respect the desires of other people, then how are you trying to make this world a better place?

      I’ll just say we disagree and I’ll leave it at that.

      That about sums it up for me.

      I don’t have a problem with people using But as I have made it clear (repeatedly) I do have a problem with companies not honoring my requests and refraining from calling me, or people like me.

      The fact that I can opt out on the (I have) and that they honor a marketing association opt out list but not the National Do Not Call list, means that they’re being hypocritical and taking advantage of people who need their service.

      Have a pleasant day.

  27. I don’t like getting those automated calls either but am so glad I got the one from I am a dog owner and would really appricate if my dog went missing people would know who to contact to get it home. Dogs are part of the famiy and depend on their “people” to keep them safe. I have woods on part of my propety and did check around for the missing dog (they said that it had medical problems so might be hiding). I hope someone finds the dog and it is returned home safely.

  28. To add to my comment in response to what others have posted… the end of the message there is an option to use to not receive their calls….if you had listened all you would have had to do is press an number and you would be off their calling list.

    1. Hi Cherry,

      That may be the case now, but it was certainly not so in the past. I guess they’re learning.

      The point of this posting was that this company (all companies) need to respect the DNC list. I don’t have a problem with people finding their lost dog (who would??) I just prefer to have my preferences respected.

      I opted out and have not received any more calls.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Jan Dembowski

  29. There is an option to opt out at the end of the phone call and also on their website. I do agree that companies do have to respect the rights of people if they don’t want to receive these phone calls….

  30. Hi there, I realize this was awhile ago that you posted this. But I work at an SPCA and we have a ton of lost reports on missing cats and dogs, so I decided to call every single person yesterday to get an update if they had found their fur-baby yet or not. One lady I called said she used this site and her dog was returned the very next day. She explained the service to me, and so I wanted to look more into it as something I could recommend to people who call to leave a lost report and want to know “What else can I do to find them?”. I put the service into my google search bar and this was one of the things that came up. I’m sorry, but as someone who sees hundreds of dogs and cats get put down each month, please stop your belly aching over a service that might put a lost dog or cat back into the arms of their owner. You have no idea what it’s like to see what we see or feel what we feel. Sometimes the lost dogs end up here and never get connected to the owner, they lose their minds here and have to be put down, worse case, or on the positive end up being adopted to someone else. But still those people wonder what ever happened to their animal. Just something for you to think about.

    1. Hello Kelly, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      It’s been hashed and rehashed above to the tune of 32 comments on this blog post. Which is interesting to me as I wrote this post in 2008.

      While that organization does a good thing (and yes, mass euthanizing of pets is horrible and tragic) my post has always been not about the service they provide but about how companies do not honor the wishes of people on the national Do Not Call list.

      I’m going to continue to leave the comments on the post open as you and others feel strongly about this and I encourage you to continue to express your opinions in the well thought out manner that you have done above.

      The only suggest I have is this: when you do leave a long comment as you did break out your sentences into paragraphs. It makes for easier reading and conveys your point better. 😉

      Jan Dembowski

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