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CAN I CALL 911 FOR A LOST DOG?

If you lose your dog, it’s important to alert the police as soon as possible. They can help keep an eye out for your lost dog and contact you if someone brings it in. But should you call the regular 911 number or is there a special pet emergency hotline?

Who Can I Call if My Dog Runs Away?

If your dog runs away or gets lost, you should call the police immediately, especially if you believe there’s a chance your dog was stolen. However, it’s best to call your local police station instead of the emergency 911 number. You should be able to find the number for your local police department with a quick Google search. But if you’re in a bind, you can call 911 and they will usually connect you with the right police department. Either way, it’s important to report your lost dog to both the police and animal control promptly to give yourself the best possible chance of being reunited with your pooch. 


You can also significantly increase your chances of finding your lost dog by getting the word out on social media. As well as being a social networking platform, Facebook is a great tool for advertising lost or found dogs. Simply create a virtual “lost dog” poster and share it to your Facebook page. You can now also use Boost by Pet Alert to target people who live within 6 miles of your neighborhood or the area where your dog was lost. This way, even people who don’t follow you or the Pet Alert page will see your post. And the more people who see your lost dog post, the more likely your dog is to be spotted by the right person!

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What Is Considered a Pet Emergency?

Pet emergencies are urgent situations involving your pet that require immediate attention. A pet emergency could be a medical emergency such as a loss of blood, fainting, seizure, ingestion of known poisons, inability to breathe, etc. It could also involve an accident or event in which your pet is harmed or causes harm to another animal or person.


In theory, the 911 number is reserved for human emergencies. However, it’s not illegal to call 911 for a pet emergency, and they will probably simply transfer you to the relevant authorities which could prove helpful. On the other hand, it’s always useful to keep certain phone numbers at hand in case of an emergency with your pet. Make a note of the following phone numbers and keep them somewhere to hand like in your purse or on the fridge:

  • Your vet’s number, as well as an out-of-hours number if possible
  • Your local animal hospital
  • Your local police station
  • Any animal shelters or rescue centers in the area
  • ASPCA Pet Loss Hotline: 877 474 3310
  • Emergency Disaster Hotline: 1 800 22 7 4645 - in case of an earthquake or natural disaster
  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1 888 426 4435