If you’ve got a dog (or, is it that the dog has you?) this is one list you’ll want to print out and keep near the phone. In an emergency, when the internet is down, or if you simply need assistance with your dog from a real, live person, these 5 phone numbers should be in the Rolodex of every dog owner:
National Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435. In an emergency every second counts. The National Animal Poison Control Center is a 24-hour manned emergency hotline sponsored in part by 36 different companies. While there is sometimes a charge for consultation, this call could save the life of your dog.
Spay/Neuter Helpline: 1 800 248 SPAY. Irresponsible breeding results in the abandonment and euthanization of thousands of dogs each year. SPAY USA is a national referral service that helps connect pet parents with free or low cost spay and neuter services in their area. With partnerships at over 950 programs and clinics nationwide, they eliminate finances as an excuse for not spaying or neutering your pets.
Emergency Disaster Information Line: 1 800 227 4645. Provided by the American Humane Association, this number provides support and relief information for pet owners living in areas affected by disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, fire and more. While not an official “hotline,” this number is manned by live persons able to direct pet owners in the event of a natural disaster or emergency.
Pet Travel Hotline: 1 800 545 USDA. If you plan on traveling by plane with your dog, a quick call to this number will ensure you are prepared for any bumps in the road where your dog is concerned. Run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, this hotline provides travel resources, licensed pet transporter contact information, rules and regulations, and also assists those that believe their animal was treated inhumanely during travel.
Your Veterinarian: One of the most important numbers in every dog owner’s phonebook will be that of your usual, trusted veterinarian. If that number isn’t already in your phone, add it now. In an emergency, during times of stress or panic, precious moments may be wasted trying to look up your vet’s phone number – and many veterinary offices have similar names.
In addition to these national helpline and hotline numbers, make sure you've got the numbers for your nearest emergency veterinarian, and your local animal control services handy, too.
Additional resources: Do you suspect your neighbors are abusing their dog? Are you having issues with your landlord or tenants over a companion animal? Do you want to report a veterinarian that you believe is operating unethically or illegally? The Animal Legal Defense Fund offers an amazing list of additional resources for pet owners in need of help. Find it here: http://aldf.org/resources/
Do you have another can't-live-without-it resource for dog owners? Comment below!