Wednesday, July 27, 2011
When it comes to responsible pet ownership, there’s no such thing as being too prepared, or having too much information. We all know how important it is to keep the telephone number for our pet's veterinarian close at hand. We also need to have the number and location of the nearest emergency vet hospital in case our pet gets sick or injured on weekends or after hours. In addition to those two essential telephone numbers, there are many others a pet owner might need at one time or another.
In an emergency, it’s much better to be prepared and know who to call than to be frantically searching for a phone number. The one thing you do NOT want to do in an emergency is search the internet for phone numbers. This is likely a waste of time because, as I discovered while doing research for this article, much of the information is outdated and the numbers are disconnected. I’ve only included numbers here that I could verify. Some are toll free numbers, but others may incur long distance charges depending upon your phone service. Also note that some may only be staffed Monday through Friday during regular business.
● ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, you can call this poison control center 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The cost for a poison-related emergency consultation with a veterinarian or toxicologist is $65, which can be billed to your credit card.
● Pet Poison Helpline: 1 800 213 6680
This 24-hour animal poison control service for the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean charges a $35 per incident fee, payable by credit card. This fee covers the initial consultation as well as all follow-up calls associated with the management of the case.
● Spay/USA Helpline: 1 800 248 7729
This national spay/neuter referral service can help you find a low cost clinic in your area. Their mission is to reduce pet overpopulation by making spay/neuter services affordable to everyone who has a cat or a dog. Phone counselors are available M-F from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.
● CANIDAE Pet Food Customer Service: 800 398-1600
Call this number if you have questions about what food to feed your pet, or other food related questions. Such as: Is a grain free diet right for my dog or cat? Should I switch my senior pet to a formula designed specifically for older animals? What protein sources are good for a pet with allergies? How much food should I feed my pet every day?
● The Animal Legal Defense Fund: 707 795 2533
The nonprofit ALDF was founded in 1979 by attorneys active in shaping the emerging field of animal law. Contact them if you have questions about animal neglect or abuse, pet related landlord-tenant issues, pet custody concerns during a divorce, or if you need information on how to include animals in your will.
● ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline: 877 474 3310
This program was created to help pet owners who are dealing with the loss of a pet. You can also call them for assistance with the decision to euthanize, advice on how to help children, disabled individuals and other family pets who are grieving the loss of their companion, and help establishing a relationship with a new pet.
● Pet Travel Information: 877 241 0184
If you’re planning to travel with your pet by plane, train or cruise ship, call Pettravel.com for information on regulations and restrictions, pet container requirements, vet certificates, and clearing security.
● Pet Airways: 1 888 738 2479
The world’s first pet-only airline currently transports four-legged passengers between nine major U.S. cities, with several more in the works.
● Animal Behavior Hotline: 312 644 8338, ext. 343
Behavior specialists are available to answer questions and provide solutions on everything from separation anxiety to aggression.
● Lyme Disease Foundation: 860 870 0070
The LDF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding solutions for tick-borne disorders. Call them if you need information on tick-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Colorado Tick Fever.
Part of being a responsible pet owner is being as prepared as possible for any situation that might arise. I hope you find the above phone numbers to be a useful resource, and if you know of any other important phone numbers for pet owners, please leave a comment so I can add it to the article.
Photo by Alessio Michelini
Read more articles by Julia Williams