NetPosse Alerts History

idaho_harold_1998.jpgRead Idaho's story, "The Miracle of Idaho"
debiIdahoDSCN6678.jpgHelp Idaho, who was 28 years old in 2013, continue what her theft started. Donate to Stolen Horse International today.

As a horse owner and lover I feel that it is very important that action be taken immediately when someone has a horse stolen-Just one person can make a difference, and I would like to help. " NetPosse member 11/22/2000 Alert System - Origins ...

                          ... All Because of a Horse Named Idaho

On September 26, 1997, Harold and Debi Metcalfe discovered their spotted racking horse mare, Idaho, had been stolen from the pasture through a cut fence bordering a dirt road. This unanticipated disruption in this all-American family’s normal life led them on a journey over the next 51 weeks for which they were completely unprepared. At that time, the Internet was still just a baby and offered few, if any, resources for victims of horse theft. So Debi taught herself how to capture the power of the evolving Internet and send out information via email about their stolen horse. Her outreach cultivated a following of complete strangers from concerned friends and horse owners to others who were also victims.

On September 17, 1998, Idaho was successfully recovered because of the Metcalfes’ relentless dedication to bringing her home and the backing received via a group of supporters dubbed “NetPosse” by the media. Once Idaho was home, the Metcalfes knew they had to use their experience to help other victims, and so Stolen Horse International, aka NetPosse was formed.

What is a Alert (formerly the IDAHO Alert)?

The Alert System began as the IDAHO Alert System – the first and foremost missing horse alert network. The Idaho Alert was named for Idaho – the stolen mare whose theft and recovery was the beginning of SHI. Pre-dating the Amber Alert, IDAHO Alerts began as the horse community’s version of this system. An alert is a globally-transmitted notice of a confirmed lost/found/missing/stolen horse. When a horse is missing, time is of the essence. With the Stolen Horse International Idaho Alerts, (equine theft alert) recipients are able to view the flyer, pictures of the horse, description, and key information that may help bring him or her home.

Because of the magnitude and expansion of NetPosse’s volunteer network, the Metcalfes made the difficult decision in 2010, when the nonprofit organization was 12 years old, to change the name of the Idaho Alert to Alert – those who do not know the history behind the nonprofit and the theft of Idaho often confuse “Idaho” with the state name. The decision was made in order not to hinder anyone from opening an alert by mistaking the mare’s name for a state of incident.

IMPORTANT: The voluntary Alert System is a partnership that includes people in law enforcement, news media, the agricultural community and the public in general … and anyone else who believes that you must ...

                             ...."Never Underestimate the Power of One" when Bringing Horses Home

Distributed through the NetPosse network, the alerts have helped cultivate this unique volunteer system, and it has now grown to include all types of agricultural thefts and missing animal situations.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." -  Margaret Mead

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