This is the conclusion of a 4-part series. Click on Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3.
Jack’s legacy has always been NEVER AGAIN. Anyone who was touched by Jack’s story wants to make sure that pets are never lost, injured or killed while in the care of the airlines. Making that promise come true means that we need to get the message out there – no matter what the airlines say, your pet IS NOT SAFE in their care.
The airlines – and even some people — will dispute this. “Thousands of dogs and cats fly every year. There are only a few problems. Accidents happen.” Fair enough – accidents do happen.
But imagine this: You come home from an evening out and one of your children is missing. The babysitter says “I forgot to check to make sure his windows were locked. It was an accident. I’m sure he’ll come back when he’s hungry. Just give him a few days. Oh – and I won’t charge you for this evening. Have a lovely night.”
I highly doubt any parent would tolerate this behavior – much less think the babysitter was acting in an acceptable manner.
How about this: fyou leave your child with a babysitter, and the child drowns while getting his or her bath. Unless the babysitter is a psychopath, it was probably an accident. Is that ok? Would you leave your other children with that babysitter? Probably not. Should your friends leave their children with that babysitter? Again – most parents would probably say that sitter is not trustworthy.
And what if, upon your return home to find your child dead, the babysitter said “I watch thousands of children every year and this hardly ever happens. Sorry about that. You don’t have to pay for my services this evening.” Would you feel any better then?
Yet, this is what happens to dogs and cats – our fur children – with frightening regularity when they are left in the “care” of the airlines.
As far as Where Is Jack? Inc. is concerned — this means YOUR DOG OR CAT IS NOT SAFE IN THE CARE OF THE AIRLINES. Period.
We need to get this message out to our three target groups: people who enter their dogs in dog shows; people who enter their cats in cat shows; and people who are moving.
There are two fundamental ways WIJ would like to focus on getting this message out:
- Social media
- Personal interaction
We need to increase our social media presence. When we started in 2011, Facebook was on the rise, and we had great success getting our message out just using Facebook. (We tweeted a bit, but that never really took hold.) YouTube was still a fairly small presence – and we had no video experience anyway. Podcasting, Pinterest and Instagram were literally in their infancy.
If Jack was lost today, it would be almost impossible to get the visibility our Facebook page was able to get in 2011 – unless we pumped some serious cash into it. Social media is always changing and we need to expand our presence across the channels.
I would love to hear from some FoJs who would like to help us to create additional outlets for Where Is Jack? Inc. to promote our message, and to educate people about how to fly safely with a pet. Can I hear from some FoJs who would be interested in creating or consulting with us about:
- Pinterest boards and pins (I’ve already started an account but have nothing on the boards)
- Instagram presence
- Twitter presence
- Podcast presence – either a dedicated pet air travel safety podcast or getting the message out on other people’s podcasts
- YouTube – the one video I put up 2+ years ago with no promotion has about 400 views; it would be great to get more videos up and to promote this
- Other social media platforms: Vine, Snapchat, Beme… are there other platforms we should be tuned into?
The good news is this is all do-able. The even better news – there is something everyone who cares can do right now… every day!!
I talk about air travel safety for animals EVERY SINGLE DAY. I talk about it with veterinarians; with people walking their dog; with friends who are about to go on vacation (I don’t care that they aren’t taking their cat with them – I want them to know there are probably animals underneath them on the plane). I talk about air travel safety for animals with my barista at Starbucks, and sometimes with the waitstaff when I go out to dinner. I talk about air travel safety for animals with anyone who will listen.
And almost everyone says “I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS A PROBLEM.”
If Jack’s legacy is going to become a reality, it is going to take an army – the army that came into existence after Jack went missing. That army is you: the Friends of Jack (FoJs). Jack needs you to keep your energy behind this issue. You can talk to anyone and it could make a difference in a dog or cat’s life! Talk to your friends, your family, your vet, your co-workers, your neighbors, your grocery store clerks, your gas station attendant… anyone and everyone you meet! Can you take a moment and talk about Jack and about air travel safety for animals today??
Can you do that every day?
Or at least a couple times every week?
If one fluffy orange-y cat could make this much of a difference, imagine what you could do.
Will you… PLEASE?
Thank you in advance. Thanks to all the FoJs… whether you’ve been around since the beginning or you just joined us. You matter. More than you’ll ever know.
Let’s get out there and DO THIS!!!!!!!