6 Phone Numbers You Shouldn't Be Without

Many times in life, help is so near that we often forget where to find it.

These toll-free numbers are not only important; they can help to save lives.

1. 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 for the lifetime of the pet or $55 to find the pet for free and non-members pay $50 and above.

2. Legal Hotline: 1-800-555-6517. For animal abuse questions. Know your rights and how to go about expressing your displeasures. The Animal Legal Defense Fund helps with landlord-tenant issues, veterinary problems, neglect and any forms of abuse.

3. National Animal Poison Control Center: 1-888-426-4435. In a life-and-death situation, when every minute counts for your pet, this 24-hour manned emergency number is your pet lifesaver. Sponsored in part by 36 different companies, there is a $45 charge for a consultation.

4. Emergency Disaster Hotline: 1-800-227-4645. Provided by the American Humane Association, this number is your first point of call in earthquake preparedness for your pets. It provides support and relief information.

5. 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 a pet or are facing the loss of a 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 call. Seven days a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST, May to August, Wednesdays and Fridays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This free service is funded by the Iams Company and dedicated in memory of Krista Rankin.

6. 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. SPAY USA provides free or low cost services. Call for an appointment and locations of more than 950 programs and clinics nationwide. Your local Shelters also help in providing similar services.