Can the Web and Twitter Help Find Jeddah?

by Joanna Pineda Posted on July 17, 2008

Last Thursday, John and Ronia Weisner were at Dulles Airport, on their way to Saudi Arabia for a year-long assignment.  Accompanying them was their beloved dog, Jeddah.  Somehow, something went terribly wrong, Jeddah’s crate was damaged, and the dog escaped.  Now, there is a Web site – –  devoted to finding Jeddah, as well as a Twitter account to keep people abreast of any news related to Jeddah’s whereabouts.

Just think about it.  In the past, if a dog or cat went missing, we put up flyers in the neighborhood and told all our friends.  Today, we use the Web, especially social networking sites, to tell the story, spread the word, and ask others to spread the word.  If a cause or issue takes hold, thousands of people catch wind of the story within minutes, hours, days, without the involvement of any government or news outlet.

In Jeddah’s case, WJLA reported the story, which reached the ears of Kate Bland, who asked Matrix Group to put up a Web page and Twitter account.  In between, dozens of people have e-mailed and actually joined the hunt for Jeddah at Dulles Airport and in Reston.  Today, thousands of people have heard about Jeddah.

Can the Web, e-mail and Twitter help save Jeddah?  Let’s hope so.

14 replies on “Can the Web and Twitter Help Find Jeddah?”

Thanks to Joanna, Brad and everyone at Matrix Group who pitched in to help out Jeddah and her family.

It simply reinforced for me that I am partnered with the very best web partner possible – one that’s extremely talented, professional, skilled and still has a huge heart.

Check out the Washington Post Metro section for story on the search for Jeddah!

Kate, you are the hero in this story. I know this story haunted you, so you decided to help, you contacted the Post, you got us to set up the site, you got Balmar to print the flyers, you galvanized the volunteers who are looking for Jeddah. You have pretty much single-handedly spearheaded this effort for a complete stranger. You are the best. Joanna

With each passing day the search for Jeddah needs to intensify and become more urgent. She has now been missing for 14 days, 14 days of walking, running, and hiding. Her paws must be sore, tired, cracked, and bleeding. All of you out there in Virginia, please help, please check the website. Time is running out.

Please help and support Kate. Both Jeddah and Kate are unique. Jeddah needs to be found urgently. Loreta

How can I get involved in the search? I have heard all about Jeddah and am absolutely obsessed. I check the web site almost hourly – hoping to see good news of her reunion with her mom and dad. Each night I say a prayer for her – I have passed around the story and web site…but I want to be physically involved too. It breaks my heart to think of her out in a strange area, scared, hungry, thirsty, and tolerating horrible storms and temperatures.

Please let me know how I can help!

Thank you, all of you, for your support. The outpouring of support from the community has been unbelievable and absolutely heartwarming. I spoke with the Executive Director of the Washington Animal Rescue League and he told me to tell everyone to NOT lose hope. He says that this dog is out there, and it might take time, but he will be found.

I would like to volunteer to help find Jeddah.

I live in WDC, in SW, but would need to be picked up at the Vienna Metro Station. I am available for Saturday and Sunday during the day and Saturday evening to mann the feeding stations.

Please email me at or call 202 554-4830.

Thank you.

Loreta Williams

I have a bit of an update and a question. First, the question: I’m wondering if anyone knows of a blog or any resource that is closely following the search for Jeddah and posting reports on needs, sightings, etc. The only way I know of to get info is to drive out there. I don’t believe the website is being kept up to date (hopefully the site minders are busy doing important things to find Jeddah), and I know that the volunteer coordination has been a bit inconsistent for various reasons. I’m trying not to be judgmental… I know there have been at least 3 different coordinators and everyone is exhausted. The latest I know is that humane traps (the trap looks like a cage with a door that will close behind her) have been set, and there is hope that Jeddah will enter one to get food. These traps are a good thing, believe me, as Jeddah is considered unapproachable because she is so skittish. One thing that she continues to need from people who can’t get there is prayer and healing energy. We can all do that. Also, donations. I plan to prepare an email to send to many of my friends sharing the story and asking for donations. Ideally, a professional like Carl Washington (google him) should be brought in. But bringing him and his tracking dogs here would be costly. I personally think United Airlines should pay for him, since they’re responsible for this situation. Anyone got connections there? I’m serious. It would be good PR for them and definitely good for Jeddah.
So who do you know who knows somebody at United Airlines?

Jo Pitcher
Conscious Pet Care Community of Northern Virginia
…… “because holistic care leads to healthy pets”

Hi Jo. Thank you for your comment and concern.

It is my understanding that only confirmed sightings are reported on the Web site and Twitter ( The family does not want to send people on wild goose chases, only to sadden and disappoint them. Whenever there is news, we post it immediately on the Web site.

If you are looking for updates on the search and what the volunteers are doing, unfortunately, we don’t have that level of detail to post. Although there seems to be a post on Twitter about volunteer needs nearly every day.

As for United Airlines, it is my understanding that the family has not heard from them, but I don’t have any direct information in this front.

Thanks for joining in the search. I agree that thoughts and prayers are needed at this time.

Hi Joanna —

Thanks for your response.

Definitely volunteers need encouragement, as that helps keep us going. For example, I personally feel encouraged when I hear of verified sightings. I (and the volunteers I know) need to feel we are part of a team, and getting information helps with that. I now know that professional trackers have been consulted, and that makes me feel encouraged. (Kate told me…. didn’t learn it from the website.) I wish there was a blog where volunteers could share information and support one another. I think it would help with retaining quality volunteers and keeping them motivated.

I talked with Kate yesterday. When I mentioned a donation drive to her, she said that she/they had all the donations they need. That’s wonderful ! I’ve passed that information on to my group and have abandoned the idea of fundraising . Since the paypal link is still on the site, I had assumed more funds were needed.

Bless you for making the helpfindjeddah website happen. We need more people like you !

All the best…..

Jo Pitcher
Conscious Pet Care Community of Northern Virginia
…… “because holistic care leads to healthy pets”

Having dogs myself, I was heart-broken hearing this story and angered at the airlines for this. That night, I tried to think of Jeddha and all I “got” was an image of a door that looked like a garage door, but in the shape of shutters. The were horizontal and white. I don’t know if maybe she was near something like this that night. I recently began thinking of her again and I dreampt that she was found surrounded by a group of people who were keeping her safe and protected until her caretakers returned. In the midst, was a media person trying to photograph her and in the dream, I tried to keep this man away so as not to scare her away. I don’t know if this means anything, I hope it’s a good sign that she’s close to being found. If I “sense” or intuit anything else, I’ll post it. Lisa

I have been praying that Jeddah is healthy and safe and will be reunited with her family anyday now/ I do feel the AIRLINE should be putting up more reward and pay for CARL WASHINGTON and his tracking dogs to search for JEDDAH. The airline should be paying the family’s expenses to stay there to search. Jeddah is family and the Airline made a horrible mistake. If I lived near the area I would be happy to put up fliers and search. I pray that I will hear the wonderful news anyday that Jeddah has been reunited with the Weisner’s/

It’s now November– has Jeddah been found yet?

I hope so!!

If not….well….I don’t live near the area where Jeddah was lost BUT but even where I live, (South Arlington) there are people in South Arlington who commute to that general area where Jeddah, if she has not yet been found– has been sighted.

Northern Virginia has a HIGHLY mobile population — they live in one area and work and play in others.

Please — if Jeddah has STILL not been found yet — PLEASE DO put up fliers.

I hope Jeddah is found. Today my neighbor’s dog ran off and it got me thinking about how to get the word out in the digital age. It seems like there should be a lost dog twitter group for each city. Also, the loopt mix feature could be used for location specific searching.

Good luck.

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