Can You Call 911 For a Dog/Cat/Pet Emergency? The Truth (2023)

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Most countries have an emergency number that you can call when you need assistance. This number in the United States and Canada is 911. While this number is generally used for emergencies that involve people, what happens when your pet has an emergency? Can you call 911 for your dog or other pet?

911 is reserved for human emergencies. It is not advised for you to call 911 if your pet is having an emergency. You should contact your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital for these types of emergencies.

There are a few exceptions to this that we will talk about below, but for the most part, 911 is for people. Keep reading for some more information about pet emergencies and resources for you in these situations.

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Also read: Firefighters, Why Are Pet Alert Stickers Ignored?

Table of Contents

(Video) Florida homeowners call 911 on cat

  • Can You Call 911 for Pet?
  • Who to Call for a Pet Emergency?
    • Animal Emergency Numbers – 911 for Pets
  • What Do You Do if Your Pet Has an Emergency?
  • Can You Call 911 for Animal Control?
  • Can You Call 911 for a Missing Dog?
  • Conclusion
  • Related Articles

Can You Call 911 for Pet?

Firefighters and other emergency resources are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are there to respond when you or anyone else needs help.

911 is the emergency number that is used to contact firefighters, police, ambulance when you need their help. This number can be used for any type of emergency, not just the obvious ones like fires or a robbery.

However, while you can call for assistance for all types of emergencies, 911 is designed for emergencies that involve people.

When your pet has an emergency, you should not call 911.

Emergency services have a limited amount of resources and they don’t usually have enough responders (or the proper training) to also handle animal emergencies. (In most cases.)

If there are human emergencies that are animal-related, you should definitely call 911. For example, if a child gets bit by a dog, that is a good reason to use the 911 system, But if one dog bites another animal, 911 should not be called, as no people were involved.

Note: There are exceptions where firefighters and police officers have helped animals. Firefighters are known for getting cats out of trees, which isn’t common but does happen.

Some fire departments may even respond for pest removal. This department in Arizona will come out to get rid of rattlesnakes, but only if they are a direct danger to people.

(Video) Dogs call 911 16 times in 30 minutes

I have even performed CPR on two dogs that we pulled out of a fire, but this doesn’t happen often.

So, that what should you do when your pet has an emergency?

Also read: Does 911 Cost Money? The Price of Emergency Calls

Who to Call for a Pet Emergency?

An emergency with your dog or cat can be stressful as they are a member of your family and you need to know who to call for help when the worst happens.

While you shouldn’t call 911 for an injured pet or other animal emergencies, there are some resources to help you manage issues that need immediate attention with your pet.

Animal Emergency Numbers – 911 for Pets

There are a few different numbers you should know, depending on the issue.

  1. Make sure you have your vet’s phone number handy for help during business hours. (They may even have an after-hours emergency line to provide assistance.) Veterinary advice may allow you to avoid taking them for emergency vet care, depending on the issue.
  2. Get the number for the nearest 24-hour emergency vet clinic or animal hospital. If your primary care veterinarian is closed, unavailable, or far away, you may need to take them to an emergency veterinary clinic for emergency care. It’s also good to know how to get there ahead of time.
  3. Other important emergency contacts:
  4. If it’s not an emergency but you need help with your pet’s behavior, call
  5. You can also visit AnimalHelpNow at for help with wildlife emergencies.

There are plenty of resources to help with your pet emergency, so you don’t need to call 911.

Note: Some of the emergency pet numbers may charge for their services.

(Video) When NOT to Call 911

What Do You Do if Your Pet Has an Emergency?

As a pet owner, you need to know how to best handle yourself when something unwanted happens. If your dog or cat has a medical emergency there are important steps you can take to manage your pet’s condition.

  1. Try to remain calm (this will help you to make good decisions)
  2. Call your veterinarian if they are open or the local animal hospital for advice.
  3. Call animal poison control if your pet may have eaten something harmful.
  4. If your pet is injured, follow the ASPCA’s advice:
    • For dogs:Approach your dog or puppy slowly and calmly; kneel down and say his name. If the dog shows aggression, call for help. If he’s passive, fashion a makeshift stretcher and gently lift him onto it. Take care to support his neck and back in case he’s suffered any spinal injuries.
    • For cats:Gently place a blanket or towel over the cat’s head to prevent biting; then slowly lift the cat and place her in an open-topped carrier or box. Take care to support the cat’s head and avoid twisting her neck in case she’s suffered a spinal injury.
    • Once you feel confident and safe transporting your pet, immediately bring him to an emergency care facility. Ask a friend or family member to call the clinic so the staff knows to expect you and your pet.
  5. It is a good idea to learn how to perform CPR on your pet before an emergency. Hopefully, you will never need to use it. Watch this video to get an idea of how to perform CPR on your pet:

For more detailed information on handling your pet emergencies, visit

Also read: What Is The International Emergency Signal For Distress?

Can You Call 911 for Animal Control?

Animal control is responsible for responding to some animal emergencies. They can assist with dangerous animals or animals that are in distress.

If your pet is having an emergency, you are probably better off taking them to the vet or emergency animal hospital. However, in some instances, animal control may be able to help.

To get a hold of animal control in an emergency, it is best to find the local phone number online and call them directly. If that is not possible, you can call 911 and they may be able to help. They may transfer you to a non-emergency line or directly to the animal control staff.

Also read: What Happens When You Accidentally Call 911? Important Info

(Video) Creepiest 911 call📞👀 time travel exist?

Can You Call 911 for a Missing Dog?

If your pet disappears and you are unable to find them, you may need some help. So who should you call when you for a lost dog?

You should call the police to report your missing pet (especially if you think they may have been stolen), however, you are better off calling the non-emergency police phone number. This number is not standard and you will have to look up the police department in your area.

If you are unable to find the non-emergency number, you can call 911 and they will most likely transfer you to this number to report the missing pet.

You should also call animal control. They may be better equipped to help you find your lost pet.

The American Humane Society also has some good info to help you get your pet back. Here are some good tips.


911 is the emergency response service used in many areas. It is, for the most part, specifically set up to manage human emergencies. As we have seen, there are a few instances when calling 911 for an animal or pet emergency can be okay.

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Can you call an ambulance for a dog? ›

Can you call 911 for your dog or other pet? 911 is reserved for human emergencies. It is not advised for you to call 911 if your pet is having an emergency. You should contact your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital for these types of emergencies.

Do dogs have a 911? ›

No, 911 is for people. EMTs and Paramedics are trained to help people, not animals.

Is there a pet 999? ›

Answers to your FAQs. How do I report cruelty or where do I go if I need advice? To report cruelty please phone 0300 1234 999. We also have animal welfare help and advice online.

What to do if your animal is having an emergency? ›

If it's a pet emergency: Call your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital if you need veterinary advice about your pet.

What is considered an emergency for dogs? ›

The Pet Is Unwilling or Unable to Eat or Drink. The Pet Has a Bite Wound or Burn Injury. The Pet Has an Abnormal Heart Rate or Rhythm. The Pet Is Having Trouble Walking or Has Loss of Balance.

How do you call an animal rescue? ›

If you need to report a situation involving an animal in immediate danger, please call our emergency number: (0) 98201 22602.

Can you call 911 to save an animal? ›

Call for help.

If animal control can't come immediately, call 911. And remember: If all else fails, do whatever it takes to save the animal's life.

Should I call 911 if I hit a dog? ›

But, if you hit a dog, you have to stop. You have to call the police. The big issue is the failure to stop to render aid.” In general, if you stop and make a reasonable effort to help the animal, the legal responsibility for the accident will not fall on you, but on the owner for allowing the dog to run loose.

How does a medical alert dog call 911? ›

Once activated, those sensors signal a computer in the back of the vest to make a phone call, send a text or even broadcast an audio message. An automated audio message, sent through a speaker on the vest, could let passers-by know that the dog has called for help or that the dog's handler needs more assistance.

Who do you call if a cat is stuck on a roof? ›

Call animal control or ASPCA first and they will advise what the next step will be. Don't call 911 that is for emergencies.

How much is a dog licence? ›

Licence Charges

Individual Dog Licence is €20. General Dog Licences for kennels is €400 per annum. A lifetime dog licence can be purchased for €140.

What will you do if you see a bleeding dog on the road? ›

Venous Bleeding

Reassure the injured animal, apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean, non-fluffy cloth. Do not use tourniquets – direct pressure will usually stop most severe bleeding. Keep the animal warm and dry and look out for signs of shock.

What is considered a cat emergency? ›

Any situation when your cat appears to be in severe pain is an emergency. Signs that your pet may be in severe pain include general discomfort, hiding, crying when touched or moved, unable to walk or move, excessive panting in cooler areas and non-weight bearing on a particular limb.

Where can I take my dog for emergency near me? ›

Emergency Vet Near Me
  • Emergency Vet Near Me. Los Angeles, CA. ...
  • LAASER Los Angeles Animal Specialty Emergency and Rehabilitation. 5.6 mi. ...
  • TrueCare for pets. 6.7 mi. ...
  • VCA Animal Specialty & Emergency Center. 7.2 mi. ...
  • Metropolitan Animal Specialty Hospital. 2.1 mi. ...
  • The Veterinary Care Center. 2.1 mi. ...
  • Animal Urgent Care. 7.8 mi. ...
  • DTLAvets.

What is a puppy emergency? ›

Difficulty delivering puppies/kittens (more than 3-4 hours between or noticeable distress) Broken bones, fractures. Bleeding from mouth, nose, anus. Eye injury or irritation.

Which conditions can be immediately life threatening for a cat if not treated by a vet? ›

Is It An Emergency? 10 Situations That Require Immediate Veterinary Care
  • #1: A pet having difficulty breathing. ...
  • #2: Intractable vomiting in pets. ...
  • #3: Pets who are bleeding severely. ...
  • #4: Pets with pale or blue mucous membranes. ...
  • #5: Pets unable to urinate. ...
  • #6: Pets who cannot walk. ...
  • #7: Toxin exposure in pets. ...
  • #8: Seizuring pets.
22 Jan 2021

Does my cat need emergency care? ›

Some sure signs to bring your cat to the ER include: Difficulty breathing (like open-mouth breathing, panting, or a respiratory rate over fifty breaths/minute [hint: count the number of breaths in fifteen seconds and multiple by four to get the total breaths per minute]) Hiding (under the bed, in the closet) Not moving.

Is excessive drooling an emergency? ›

Urgent message: Typical drooling is no cause for alarm in infants and toddlers. However, excessive drooling accompanied by fever or other various red flags could be signs of more serious concerns such as retropharyngeal abscess, Ludwig angina, or upper airway obstruction.

Why is it called the dog pound? ›

Most likely, if you are of a “certain age” you grew up hearing the words “the pound” or “the dog pound.” The word “pound” has its origins in the animal pounds of agriculture communities. These were corrals or pens where livestock were held or “impounded” until their owners came to retrieve them.

What will you do if you see animals in trouble? ›

If you come across an animal in distress, stay with it until help is secured. Carefully place bowls of water near the animal, making sure not to be too close to it. A monitor lizard was rescued from a grocery store.

What is cat shelter called? ›

A cat house is a cattery, a place where cats are houses.

Do ambulances for animals exist? ›

For the on-site treatment of strays in distress, Blue Cross of India and Four Paws, an international animal welfare organisation, launched a mobile animal ambulance on Sunday.

Can you get a vet ambulance? ›

Our pet taxi / animal ambulances can be booked by pet owners, veterinary surgeries, animal charities and veterinary referral units for routine, non-urgent and emergency pet transport. Quote from a Veterinary Practice: ” We have found the service to be of remarkable use and help working with our small animal clinic.

Should I call 911 if I hit a cat? ›

If you do not know the number for any emergency assistance or your local police department, it's recommended that you call 9-1-1. They can direct your call to the local animal control or police department. Tell them your location, and explain you hit an animal and it may be injured.

Are there animal ambulances in the UK? ›

Established in 2015, Duty of Care Pet Services UK, based in Surrey, has evolved into an established Professional Pet Care & Transportation company, and is one of the only Animal Ambulance services to carry oxygen, operating throughout London and the South East.

What do ambulance dogs do? ›

Since then, the role of service dogs has evolved. They are now trained to perform all sorts of specific and essential tasks for their owners, such as lifting and carrying items, opening and closing doors, or helping them navigate through daily life.

Which state launched street animals ambulance? ›

Detailed Solution. The correct answer is Chennai. The Blue Cross of India has launched a “first-of-its-kind” ambulance for street animals in Chennai in collaboration with the international animal welfare organization Four Paw.

Which state government has decided to set up India's first government run ambulance network for animals? ›

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has made this ambulance network as one of its main missions in order to help in reaching out to the distressed animals to provide them proper animal healthcare.

Is it illegal to hit a dog with a car? ›

In most states, the pet is considered personal property, so when you hit a dog with your car and run it's considered property damage and leads to a criminal penalty. You might be charged with animal cruelty or failing to notify the owner of property damage.

Do you have to stop if you hit a cat 2022? ›

Just like you would in an accident involving another vehicle, you must stop. You should remain at the scene until the police, the RSPCA or the animal's owner arrives. Before you do anything, make sure you're safe.

Should you stop if you run over a cat? ›

You are not required legally to stop at the scene if you hit a cat… but if you do, and it has a chance of survival, the best thing you can do is: Move the animal to safety (if it can be moved) and ideally take it to the nearest vet. Notify the owner as soon as possible if the cat is microchipped.

Are ambulances exempt from road tax? ›

Emergency service vehicles, such as ambulances and fire engines, which have a taxation class of 'ambulance' or 'fire engine' on the date of travel. NHS vehicles that are exempt from vehicle tax.


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