As it happens every spring and summer, I was shopping recently and came across two panting long-haired dogs in a parked truck. Yes, the windows were cracked, but no, it wasn't doing a thing to cool them down. I consider this an emergency situation, since dogs die in parked cars every year. One store told me that they couldn't help. It was a Sunday and animal control was closed. Sorry, nothing they could do. I went to another store and they were very helpful, giving me the number to our local animal control, who was indeed there and grateful to be made aware of the situation, as they rescue several cases like this a year (and some that don't make it).
This got me thinking about animal emergencies other than our own pets. While many people either have their vet's phone number in their cell phone or have committed it to memory, other animal organizations may not be the first to come to mind. Case in point, me. I added in the animal control number as the store employee told it to me and saved it!
In addition to your vet's and the local animal control numbers, it would also be a good idea to have the direct phone number to your veterinarian's emergency services. On holidays and after-hours, veterinarians have a voice recording with instructions of who to call in an emergency. However, dialing and listening to the recording, getting to the emergency number, and then dialing that number takes time. Valuable time in an emergency.
One more animal phone number tip. I travel to the coast often, and found the number to a marine wildlife rescue organization in the area that I stay. This number went into my cell phone as well, as it is not uncommon to find seals and sea birds stranded or injured on the shore. Seek out rescue and rehabilitation organizations for the areas that you live in and travel to. Add in phone numbers that would be useful when you find a sick, stray or injured animal or pet. This saves lots of time and possible frustrations trying to track down the "correct" agency after hours.
Photo: Cell phone © Cyrillicus on Flickr