Most Recent Possible Sightings

Confirmed Sighting: May 9 2012, north Chevy Chase. [2011]December 11, neighborhood outside Colombia Country Club. October 20, Colombia Country Club. September 14, Candy Cane City and into Rock Creek Park. September 7 or 8, Brookville and Shepherd in Chevy Chase, and then back south on Connecticut to Chevy Chase circle (where she is getting water, we believe). August 28th, on Thornapple in Chevy Chase, and then headed south on Connecticut!

(For other sightings, see archive at the bottom of the page.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ideas! We love to hear them!


One of our volunteers has brainstormed an number of ideas - we love hearing them, and will be thinking about what is feasible with the resources available to us.  Please, jump in with your own ideas, or build on what's below!  

Just saw your documentary and was moved to try to brainstorm some ideas for raising awareness about Sass's plight.  Some of these may seem far-fetched, but please bear with me.  You can never have too many people looking for Sass, no matter where they come from or what their reasons are for finding her: genuine animal lovers, hero worship (more later), or folks who just want to be part of a good story, etc.
1) Have you ever considered putting your Sass flyer on promotional items: t-shirts, hats or buttons?  This could probably be done inexpensively online, or maybe one of your volunteers could do this.  You could give these items to American U students, joggers/bikers in targeted parks/areas, residents, commuters and the poor homeless folks living along Sass's path of travel, raising the community's awareness.
2)  Is it possible/feasible to get a mural or billboard with Sass posted somewhere in the city?
3)  Volunteer Barbecue-Picnic:  Since Sass is likely hiding out in parks during the day, hold a pot-luck picnic for your community of volunteers at one or more of the places/parks that Sass has been tracked or spotted: AU Park/Campus, Bayard or Rock Creek Park?   Create a large poster of Sass for the event, and offer Sass promotional items, and maybe even a burger/hotdog to park visitors, turning them into Sass spotters.  Some potential benefits:
*   raise the awareness among folks who live near and frequent those parks/locations.  
*   promotional items - like traveling flyers, will spread the word around the park area
*   these events would familiarize searchers with targeted areas, making them more likely to return to search for Sass or post flyers
*   strengthen the bond, communication, cooperation of your volunteers and even maybe add to the volunteer ranks a bit
*   capitalize on the event to raise more publicity, possibly get some more local news coverage.
*   add to the documentary by inviting the author of your documentary to film this part of the story.  It's is a compelling, moving story and he might want to continue following it all the way to it's resolution.  If he's unavailable, ask for volunteer filmmakers to capture the event for Sass's documentary.
You can control how large or small you want to make this.  If you are uncomfortable with the idea of a Sass picnic, then team up with a local animal rescue group or charity like the ASPCA and make it a homeless animal awareness and/or fund raising event, as well as a "Help Find Sass" event.  This could all be promoted via social media (or not), depending on the desired size of the gathering.

4) Viral PSA video:  This is more of a long shot, but publicity is Sass's best friend.  To create a viral video about Sass, an effort should be made to try enlist the help of local celebrities to do a short public service video in support of finding her.  This could be current/former sports figures from the Caps, Wiz, Nats and Redskins, sympathetic on-air personalities, etc.
Although she's not local, animal advocates like Betty White instantly come to mind. Some local athletes might be reasonably accessible.  An Ovechkin PSA, for instance, would instantly become a viral video in DC.  Michael Vick has been working with the Humane Society and would probably do this, given the chance.  As more and more of these PSAs get created, it becomes a phenomenon.  You might get more new coverage, possibly a mention on sports talk websites, tv, radio, etc.
The increased publicity would likely attract more volunteers, and hopefully, catch the attention of additional search/tracking experts who might help, even just for the glory (possibly for free, knowing how much you're already spent).  With all the publicity and an ongoing documentary/search mystery, the person that finds Sass would become an instant hero in a heart-warming story and documentary.
There's a huge community of animal lovers out there, willing to help. The more Sass's story grows and gets out there, the more good people will get involved.
Thanks.
Regards,
Mark

3 comments:

  1. I think targeting students is a good idea, but giving them things to wear doesn't seem like good value for the money. Will they wear those things? I doubt it. Maybe a button, but will they commit to wearing it every day?

    You'd be better off targeting the campus with flyers and maybe even a table/display as if you're a campus group. Get people to come over with a basic enticement (food of any kind) and give them a flyer. Better yet, have a nice big photo of Sass that they can snap with the cameras on their phones. That way, they're carrying a photo of her around with them at all times.

    Classes begin on 8/29 at AU. You could target that first week to have volunteers on campus. Alternately, you could find the big opening events and have people stand outside before/after handing out info.

    A separate idea from the student-related stuff: have you ever considered organizing a search? I know it's not the most effective way to find a dog, but I wonder if you could mobilize your supporters to scour a particular area after the next sighting. Obviously, it would be silly to do that without a sighting, but perhaps you could gauge the interest of your volunteers to covering an area on the first Saturday afternoon post-sighting. Equip these volunteers with signs/flyers so that the "search" is less a chance to find Sass (although here's hoping!) and at least an opportunity to get the word out in a specific area shaped around good info.

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  2. I like the t-shirt idea, I've been following the story of Hanah who has been missing since the Joplin tornado and a lot of people have purchased Bring Hanah Home t-shirts to help spread the word all over the country (because she could possibly be anywhere).

    Also, what about a facebook page where you could put the blog posts and pictures? With a facebook page, people would be able to share the info with all of their friends, and hopefully greatly increase the number of people who see it. The links could also be posted on groups specific to the area (ie AU related groups, restaurants in the area, etc).

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  3. American University has student shuttle busses between main campus, law school campus, and tenley campus. Can you post flyers in these busses? They go right through her mapped territory and students on the busses could keep an eye out while riding them.

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