Last week, when Alex Berg was out of town, his dog Tesla went missing. The medium-size Poodle mix outsmarted a dog walker ran off into the streets. That was a big problem — the streets were located in sprawling Los Angeles, which is not a great place for a dog to go missing.
Berg is the artistic director of the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade; he knows how to make things happen. He immediately put the call out that his dog was missing.
“I emailed a few dozen friends of mine to let them know what had happened, and they all picked up the charge right away,” Berg told LAist. “From the beginning, the response has been overwhelming.”
That’s a bit of an understatement. The response has been staggering, spreading like wildfire thanks to social media, particularly Alex Berg’s Twitter and the #FindTesla hashtag. Ad-hoc, round-the-clock search groups have sprung up. More than 100 people have volunteered, some searching for an hour or two, some searching all day. A “Dawnguard” group focuses on searching in the early morning, which is, statistically, the prime time to find a missing dog.
And everyone stays organized, thanks to the Twitter hashtag #FindTesla, which allows real-time, mobile updates for everyone searching. Berg coordinates the searches from command central (his apartment), aggregating confirmed sightings of the dog, maximizing search areas, and pushing info out through the hashtag. A Find Tesla Facebook page has also sprung up.
Celebrity retweets are giving the search wider exposure. LAist reports retweets from football journalist Rich Eisen, musician Ryan Adams, and actors Jeff Garlin, Taran Killam, and even Turtle from Entourage. The radio station KOST mentioned the search on the air, sending out Dido’s “Thank You” to the searchers.
Now, for the sad news: The team has not found Tesla. Yet. Members did, however, find a lost Poodle named Snow, who is now happily back with her owner. There have been quite a few sightings of Tesla, so hopefully it is only a matter of time before she’s found.