If you drive across the country tuned in to public radio stations along the way, you'll hear many of your favorite shows no matter where you are. Programs like "All Things Considered," "This American Life," and "Radiolab" are staples of public radio. But each local station also has its own flavor, reflecting the unique character of the communities it serves. That's why Montana Public Radio is one of the first places people call when their pet goes missing.
"You won't find many other radio stations that run announcements for lost dogs," says MTPR Program Director Michael Marsolek.
It's a practice that's been around nearly as long as the station has been on the air. And when you think about it, it makes sense that it persists at MTPR.
Montanans love dogs. Our studios are in view of a dog park, in a city where dogs hang out of nearly every Subaru window, join us for outdoor adventures, and anxiously await the return of their people outside every coffee shop and brewery. So when your four-legged friend goes missing, we understand what you're going through.
"I think the most wonderful thing about doing the [lost dog] announcements is when you get someone calling in after they've gotten their dog back, it's so heart warming. Most of the time, people are so scared when they call in about a lost animal, and I can imagine. I wouldn't be able to function until I found my dog Teddy," says MTPR DJ Joan Richarde.
Dogs are also some of Montana Public Radio's most reliable donors. Many listeners donate in their pet's name as part of our pledge week finale, "Pet Wars."
"We spend the last night of our fundraiser celebrating the lives of our pets," Richarde says, and that connection with our listeners is one of the things that makes MTPR feel unique.
If your dog is lost in western Montana, you know who to call.