After my post about the $19.95 “Find’Em” scent kit that saves your child’s scent to share with the search and rescue dogs, one of you, a Mr. Adams, complained to the company on Facebook about its home page, which declares: “In the U.S. a Child Goes Missing Every 40 Seconds.” Mr. Adams wrote:
It is absolutely abhorrent that you use such ridiculous and untrue scare tactics to peddle your wares. The statistic you cite has no relation whatsoever to the actual (extremely small) number of kids who are abducted and need to be “tracked.” Shameful.
Find’em Scent Kit replied:
I’m sorry you feel that way Mr. Adams. I don’t know your background in what you do so I’m going to keep it short and professional. I can say I do know what happens to some of our unfortunate missing children from both my partner and my on the job experiences. When it goes bad it really goes bad.
Statistics are statistics. If I can help educate our country on how effective a tool like the Find’em Scent Kit is during that unforseen event when it takes place then we might just save a life. Why don’t you talk to a family that’s had a child kidnapped and killed. Ask them if they would be interested in a kit like ours for less than .5 cents a day. Seems like a no brainer to me and everyone that hears about it. But you’re right, it is a small number as a whole; however, there is still to many lives lost though and one life lost is one to many.
To which Mr. Adams replied:
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I don’t have anything against your product. I view it as similar to certain kinds of insurance companies sell that won’t be used, but make people feel better. I suspect that such a product would be useful if a kids got lost in the woods, but most kids who are abducted aren’t found alive by police dogs. As you probably know from the FBI records, that most recently looked at a decade’s worth of data, that true stranger abductions account for .0068% of all kidnappings, with the majority being during a family dispute.
My concern is more philosophical. Despite the fact that crime is at historic lows, most Americans believe crime is way up. They also believe abductions are up (they are not) shootings are up (they are down) and that kids are in constant danger. Everyone from the 24/7 news hysteria machine to companies selling products work tirelessly to scare the wits out of parents. Most schools in the U.S. are now prisons in permanent lock-down. You just about have to give a DNA sample to get in the door. Men are treated with great suspicion (especially middle-aged white guys like me), and all in the name of preventing every possible incident that might happen in this big, bad world.
And Find’em wrote back:
Mr. Adams, I think we’re both talking about two different concerns. Although I do agree that society has us focused on all negative topics (especially the nightly news) and scare tactics may be insurance and other companies marketing strategies it’s not Find’em’s. We’re merely trying to point out how important it is to have an uncontaminated scent article present when that incident of a missing person takes place. Our kit is that tool that a family can proactively purchase to ensure that there is one more safety step put in place for their loved ones.
To be honest with you we focus on a very broad audience, not just the small number of kidnapping victims. We focus on the 49% of children with Autism that wander away from a safe environment. This summer alone I lost track that over 10 of those children drowned. That doesn’t include the others that didn’t arrive back home alive because they were struck by a car etc. I know this because I personally still work a hound and track a lot of special needs children.
Our Alzheimer’s population is around 5.5 million and is continually growing. Estimated by 2040 we will reach 13.2 million. Baby boomers are part of the reason why. The elderly are walking away and dying because of dyhidration and hypothermia when weather is at its extreme conditions. Point is people go missing every minute and K9’s are used more and more to help locate them both alive and dead. The reason why you want a kit like ours is because your giving the dog team a single scent source of the potential missing person that was directly obtained from the body not from something touched or an article of clothing which has been contaminated by others scent or chemicals which can blow out a K9’s nose. As handlers we use the best (scent article) we can find or have access to (not easy most of the time) it forces us to guess and rely on the K9 way to much. It’s not always a good article and there are times that K9 won’t track when you need to. We try to post as many successful tracking finds that we can. Unfortunately that is a job in itself. Here is one that came out a few days ago that will show you a success.
The handler that found this kid will attest to the importance of the Find’em Scent Kit. Thank you for being respectful as share your concerns. Awareness has been our biggest hurdle in educating our society. Respectfully sent
And finally, Mr. Adams wrote back:
Again, thank you for your response. It’s clear that you are passionate about what you are doing. Maybe you could broaden your marketing scope and gain a bigger audience by highlighting those areas more. I see them on your web site, but I had to look for them. Maybe a bit of tweaking on the banner page is in order, especially with regard to the elderly. There is a looming elder crisis in America where your product might be of value. But I wouldn’t know that if I came across your site on the first click. So there are my two cents. I greatly respect the fact that you kept this exchange on your FB page and did not remove it, as many businesses would do. Best of luck in your endeavors. —
How civil! I agree with Mr. Adams, the page is terrifying and misleading. Also, the article about the boy who was found alive by a rescue dog — thank goodness — does not mention anything about the family having had this kit on hand. It appears the child was found without the aid of one.
But I do love the spirit of dialog, and salute the Find’em folks for writing back. And I especially love the idea of asking companies — and politicians — to explain their evidence and rationale. It’s a great habit to get into! – L.