The Sixteen Most Important Telephone Numbers
Every Cat Owner Should Know

BY Dr. Ola Ayeni

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While so many things are no longer free nowadays, taking care of our pets should not cost pet lovers a fortune either. If anything happens to us as an emergency or life threatening, we call 911. But our pets and owners are faced daily with several problems, they usually do not know where to turn to for help, which number to call, where to go and what to do.

So many organizations assist pet owners by providing several free or subsidized services to help you enjoy your pet and solve your problem. I have put together 16 telephone numbers I think every pet owner should not live without. Yes I mean live without. Knowledge is power we all know, but information that is not known can not become power and therefore has no benefit. The more we know, the better we can do. The more we can do, the better we feel about ourselves and know where to turn for help in order to offer our best to the pets we care for. While other local or national organizations may be omitted, I have concentrated more on services that provide free long distance and toll free services to pet owners except two important non toll free telephone numbers.

1) Animal and pet travel resources, airplanes and airline regulation: 1800 545 USDA

Traveling with your pet? Whenever you need to travel with your dogs, cats and other warm-blooded animals locally or even internationally, it is important for you to know your dog is protected by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Before taking a flight, call this number for all your needs about transporting your pet, best airline resources, Licensed pet transporters contact, and even file complaint regarding your pet if you feel an airline has treated your pet or animal inhumanely during transportation. They also ensure airlines treat animals humanely, has facilities to handle animals at airports and maintain allowable temperature limits for animal holding areas. They provide touchtone and recorded messages only. Press option 3 for pet related information.

2) National Pet Recovery Hotline: 1 800 984 8638.

Whenever your pet is lost, this is one of your first places of help to report your missing friend. This 24-hour service will help you to locate your pet. Lost pets usually end up in an animal shelter before the county or city steps in. Members pay $25.00 for the lifetime of the pet or $55.00 to find the pet for free and non-members pay $50 and above.

3) Tatoo-A-Pet: 1 800 828-8667.

They carry the listings of all member animal and pets that are just found, their tattoo information, when found and where they are kept. This 24-hour service comes with a $35.00 membership fee for the life of the pet, which includes an identification tattoo.

4) Legal Hotline: 1 800 555 6517.

I think my neighbors are abusing their pet. Can I do any thing to stop them? Here is the number to call. To know your rights and how to go about expressing your displeasures, this number is for you. But try not to call because you don't that like someone's method of training his or her dog. Animal Legal Defense Fund help with landlord-tenant issues, vet problems, neglect and any form of abuse.

5) National Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435.

In a life and death situation when every minute counts for your cat, dog or other pet, this 24-hour manned emergency number is your pet life saver.

Sponsored in part by 36 different companies along with a $45.00 charge for consultation.

6) Emergency Disaster Hotline: 1 800 22 7 4645.

Provided by the American Humane Association, this number is your first point of call in earthquake preparedness for your pets or any disaster, what to do and where to go. They provide support and relief information.

7) Stolen Pet Hotline: 1 800 STOLEN PET .

In defense of animals stolen.

If you believe your pet is stolen, you may call them for help. A 24-hour touchtone phone number where you can leave a message and they will return your call to provide assistance.

8) Petfinders: 1 800 666 5678.

24-hour free lost and found search for members; monthly search charge for first 4 months ($40.00). Membership fees; $15.00/yr for first pet and $10.00 for each additional pet.

Free travel assistance also available. They have helped so many people in locating their lost pet.

9) Animal Behavior Hotline: 415 554 3000.

You have to pay for all long distance charges. Offers assistance with animal and pet behavior problems

10) Cat Care Hotline: 1 800 228 2273.

Purina, a major manufacturer of pet food, has set up a great resource of recorded information to assist cat owners in a variety of ways. You need a touch tone phone to hear the prerecorded messages.Topics include diseases, treatment, nutrition and general care.

11) Spay Helpline: 1 800 248 SPAY.

One way to prevent several unwanted lovely pets from ending up in shelters or destroyed is to spay or neuter them. Thousands of abandoned and unwanted pets are euthanized yearly due to irresponsible breeding and other factors. So before you consider giving your pet to the shelter, this organization can help you.

SPAY USA provides free or low cost services to all. Call them for an appointment and locations of over 950 programs and clinic nationwide. Your local Shelters also help in providing similar services.

12) Pet Loss Support Hotline: 1 888 478 7574.

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine provides a source for emotional support for those who have lost an animal friend or are anticipating the loss of their pet. Veterinary students at the college man this free service.

A 24-hour touch phone line where you can leave a message and someone will return your phone call. Seven days a week 6:00pm-9:00pm CST, May to August, Wednesdays and Fridays 6:00pm-9:00pm. This free service is funded by the Iams Company and dedicated in memory of Krista Rankin who organized the initial funding for this program.

13) Pet Loss Support Line: 1 877 394 2273.

The University of Illinois College of Veterinary medicine offers a free support to all grieving individuals. Leave a message on the answering machine. Calls will be returned 7:00pm-9:00pm CT, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

... and since many cats share their owners
with canine roomates...

... Here are 3 numbers for the doggy set...


14) Dog Training Hotline: 212 727 7257, 1-3 pm daily, EST.

A free dog owners training, resource and referral helpline. If a return call is requested, all long distance calls received before 1 pm will be returned collect. How should I teach my dog to stop and listen to me. Provided by the American Dog trainers network director.

15) AKC Companion Animal Recovery: 1 800 252 7894.

Register Dogs and also help to find lost AKC registered dogs.

16) Lyme Disease National Hotline; 1 800 886 5963.

This tick-transmitted disease is fatal when it strikes. Call for help if you think your pet has ticks or is in contact with the wild. They also help with information to prevent this deadly disease.

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