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Good Butt vs Bad But: But I Always Answer My Phone…

Updated: Jul 8


There are good butts and there are bad "buts". "But I always answer my phone" isn't one of the good ones. At least not when it comes to relying solely on an ID tag with your phone number because you think you'll always answer if your pet needs help.


Think, for a moment, of some of the many reasons we don't or can’t always answer our phone:

  • We don't recognize the number.

  • We're doing something we think is more important.

  • We're driving.

  • We're at work.

  • We’re at the gym.

  • We can't answer because...

1. We're in a movie theater.

2. We're in the dentist's chair (or otherwise indisposed).

3. We don't have cell reception.

4. Our phone isn’t with us.

5. The phone battery is dead.

6. We're in a serious car accident.

We don't know about you, but just the thought of that last one keeps us up at night: What if I'm in a car accident with my pet and I'm taken to the hospital? My phone number on my pet's ID tag isn't going to be much help.


The Help4Pets Pet Emergency Tag System (PETS) was designed for situations like this; it's your pet's 24/7 safety net in case they need immediate help and you can't be reached right away.

Man on a bench who found a lost dog, calling Help4Pets.
One simple call connects to our trained staff who are ready to help 24/7.

The (800) number on the Pet Emergency Tag is answered 24/7 by our trained staff. If you're involved in a car accident with your pet and you're taken to the hospital, emergency responders will be able to see the Pet Emergency Tag on your pet's collar immediately. And the universal emergency symbol will instantly be recognizable. Police, paramedics and fire personnel don't carry microchip scanners, but they do have phones and they'll be able to easily call our number. Using the information you entered when you registered your pet with our service, we'll call your backup contact(s) and give them the details of the emergency, including your pet's location.


One bad "but" can beget another and now you have a bigger bad "but".

OK, so hopefully we've explained why thinking "But I always answer my phone" is a bad "but". Well, there's a frequent follow-up "but" that only compounds the problem and it's, "But if someone can't reach me, they'll just hold onto my pet and wait until I can call them back." Don't count on it.


After more than 20 years answering tens of thousands of emergency pet calls from all across the U.S., we've run into all kinds of situations in which people can't, and sometimes won't, wait…at least not for very long. They could be on their way to work or need to get their kids to school. Maybe they have social plans and your pet is about to spoil them. Whatever it is they were on their way to do, it definitely didn't involve plans to find your pet. And for a lot of people, it most certainly doesn't involve changing their plans so they can hold onto your pet until you finish whatever it is you're doing and get around to calling them back.

A spinning illustration of the front and back of the Pet Emergency Tag with the toll free number and the engraved unique pet ID number

One of the many beauties of the Pet Emergency Tag is that we always answer. There's no automated system, nothing to scan, no special app or equipment needed. Nothing to confuse or frustrate the person who's trying to help your pet. One simple call simply does it all. Just the sound of a caring, knowledgeable voice reassuring the person that we're on the case and they're not going to get "stuck with some strangers pet" is often all it takes to get the pet home safely. And we always make the caller feel like a hero. We've found that flattery works wonders and can make even the most reluctant Good Samaritan hang on until the pet's person or one of their alternate contacts can be reached.


Our promise: You and your pet can always count on us.

No ifs, ands or BUTS.


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