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Yesterday I was in the car w/Kodee, and we saw an ambulance going by in the distance. I got to thinking about "What happens to you dog if you get in a serious car accident and have to be taken somewhere by ambulance?" I mean, what's the protocol for this, or is there one? Do they take your dog (assuming he's not injured) to a shelter (heaven forbid) until someone can come get him? Do they call a family member to get him, and if so, what do they do while they're waiting for someone to show up?

Also, what if both you AND your dog are seriously injured? What happens to your dog if he needs to be seen immediately by a vet?

My dog is restrained in the car w/a seatbelt harness (a good one), but I still wonder how these situations are handled...
 

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That is a great question
 

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Years ago my friend was in a really bad accident. A man fell asleep behind the wheel, crossed over the line and hit her almost head on. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt and ended up smushed into the area where your legs go when you are driving. Messed up both her knees, broke a leg and arm and a concussion. She had one of her dogs with her in the vehicle - a big Blazer. The dog was tossed around inside the car but stayed with her at the vehicle.

She was awake when the police arrived and she gave them my phone number. The police called Aniaml Control to come get the dog and then called me to let me know what was going on.

I went to the AC and picked up her dog and took him to my vet. He had no signs of external injuries and was walking (very slowly but still moving ok) but I wanted x-rays to be sure there were no surprises.

I asked the AC what would have happened if the dog had been seriously injured. They said they would have taken him to a vet. Some vets will do everything that needs to be done to save the dog without waiting for a $$$ commitment from the owner - some will only stablize the dog.

But what if she had been unconscious?

EVERYONE that travels with their dogs in the car should have emergency dog info inside the glovebox or on the visor. Names and phone numbers of people they can contact or vets that know you and agree to treat your dog right away. Dogs names, pictures (if you have more than one) and how to best approach each dog.

For instance, Riggs would respond best to direct commands and not baby talk. Tazer would do better with baby talk and while he barks alot he will not bite. Winnie WILL bite if the other dogs are worked up. Etc.
 

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Oh, good question. I've never even thought about that but am now very curious as to what would happen.

Quote:EVERYONE that travels with their dogs in the car should have emergency dog info inside the glovebox or on the visor
Excellent idea. I am going to make some forms today and put them in all of our vehicles.
 

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Unfortunately, I have heard of dogs being left at the scene. I don't know if different areas have different protocols or what.
 

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that is a very good question and one i haven't thought of, i used to have mine with me alot until my van broke down and now I am in something that is barely big enough for myself and kids, but to have info on hand incase is a good idea, also on the form should be if the dog would bite and his microchip/tattoo number if they have one should be on there.
 

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I think really it would depend on the individual EMS people working the scene. Dog might be left there, might be sent to AC.

Another reason we always transport dogs in crates. Not only safer for them and us if there is an accident, but it keeps the dog confined if there is an accident. Less chance of the dog getting lose and running around the freeway when EMS opens the door. Also less chance of the dog causing problems for EMS. I have a couple dogs that I seriously doubt would be willing to let strangers anywhere near me if I were injured and incapacitated to the point where I couldn't let the dog know it was ok... and I don't want my own medical care stalled while they deal with a dog, and I certainly don't want the paramedics to have to call a cop to shoot my dog so they can get me out of the car.

Keeping emergency dog contact info in the car and in your wallet is a very good idea. Then you just have to hope they see it and pay attention to it. Also, make sure the emergency contacts for YOU are aware you might have dogs in the vehicle at any given time, and in case of emergency they may need to pursue rescuing the dogs.
 

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Originally Posted By: ShepsRgr8Unfortunately, I have heard of dogs being left at the scene.
If I am ever in a bad accident that requires me to be taken by ambulance and they leave my dogs at the scene, they better HOPE I DIE. Because if I find out they left my dogs there, there will be H3LL TO PAY!

To me it really seems like leaving an animal at the scene should be illegal. Sounds like animal cruelty to me! Not to mention they would be endangering the animals lives
 

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Yeah, I feel the same way in an ideal universe, but rescuing animals is not their mandate nor their area of training. They are there to help people and that's the priority. Having one of my dogs shot because they couldn't get into the car if I had an accident is one of my personal nightmares. I travel with the dogs in seatbelt harnesses but I know Grace would have a fit if I were hurt and strangers were trying to get into our car. I drive a Tacoma extend cab pick up so the only way for me to travel with her crated would be for her to be in the back of the truck which I am not going to do - there's a cap but still, it's not climate controlled. Next car I buy will be better designed for safe transport of ornery GSDs!
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: ShepsRgr8Unfortunately, I have heard of dogs being left at the scene.
If I am ever in a bad accident that requires me to be taken by ambulance and they leave my dogs at the scene, they better HOPE I DIE. Because if I find out they left my dogs there, there will be H3LL TO PAY!

To me it really seems like leaving an animal at the scene should be illegal. Sounds like animal cruelty to me! Not to mention they would be endangering the animals lives
amen to that!!!
 

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I've thought about what would happen to Molly if I was injured many times when I am out driving with her, especially when I travel farther distances than normal for agility trials and after reading this thread I just made up a flyer to put in my glove box in case of an emergency. If I were in an accident and conscience, but they still had to take me in an ambulance. I don't know if I could go knowing they were going to leave Molly. I know they would not be dealing with a happy patient if that were to happen.
But thanks to this thread I will have a flyer in my glove box with all her information!
 

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Originally Posted By: pupresqYeah, I feel the same way in an ideal universe, but rescuing animals is not their mandate nor their area of training. They are there to help people and that's the priority.
But it SHOULD be in the "job description" of the Police, Sherrifs Dept, State Patrol, ect... I have NEVER seen a bad accident where some form of law enforcement wasn't called. It is their job it investigate, which they can't do until the medical personel is finished, while they are waiting, they can be making arrangements for any animals at the scene. Animal Cruelty is also in the "job description" of a lot of law enforcement agencies in some form or another. (For instance, here we have no "animal control", it is the responsibility of the Sherrifs Dept.) How is it that it would be Ok for them to break the laws it is their job to enforce?

(pupresq: This isn't directed AT you.
)
 

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I have tags on my dogs that say "In case of emergency, call my vet: XXX-XXX-XXXX. Or Bring to Blah Blah Kennel. XXX-XXX-XXXX." Blah Blah kennel has my credit card on file and has my parent's name and number on file as well.

Camper's tag specifically says "I am a service dog. Do Not bring me to an animal shelter." as well.

Even if we're far from home, I figure that an out-of-area vet or kennel will call my local contacts and work something out with my local contacts. The local kennel is managed by my trainer and my vet is someone I trust completely. I trust that they'll know what to do, whether it's giving my parents' info to them, working a billing arrangement, or even authorizing euthanasia if my dogs are that severely injured.

I have two-sided tags. It's a lot of info to engrave on a tag, but they did it!


This info is also in the glove box (wrapped inside the vehicle registration) of EVERY vehicle we drive, AND next to the phone in my house (in case there's an emergency there). I also have OUR medical emergency information in there.

This info on tags is useful not only if there's an accident but also if our dogs get out of our yard somehow and we're not available. (I mean, if that happens and I can't find my dogs, I might be having a nervous breakdown, right?
)

And, I have this info on the little dogs, in case people are scared of the big GSD as well. He is kinda scary looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, everyone. I just found a Release for Medical Treatment form for pets online. I am going to put one in my car, and another one in my wallet, I guess. I've been looking online for a form re: who to have come get the dog, etc, but I can't find one. I'm sure there's one someplace, but if I can't find one, I'll make my own. I think I'll attach a copy of his rabies certificate, and put his Avid chip # on it as well.

Kodee rides with a harness, rather than in a crate (I can't fit a crate in my vehicle along w/3 kids in booster seats, so he has to sit up front w/me), so I can't attach anything to a crate, unfortunately. I think I'll clip my form onto outside of my visor, so that it's easily visible (hopefully), if we have an accident (heaven forbid).

I may also see if I can find one a large luggage tag that I could keep attached to his harness, and put the folded sheet of info in there. Then it would be attached to him directly (if I can keep him from eating the luggage tag). I'm paranoid, and I'd like to have something attached directly to him in the car, besides just his ID tags that are on his collar.
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We have no policy here. I have never been to an accident where an animal was involved. I assume that if the owner was not conscious, the SPCA would be called.
 

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I am a police officer and have been for 15 years. I can tell you that here in NH there is no formal training (animal control) required. In the academy there is a brief overview of the requirments of the cruelty statues. We get no training in how to handle animals. Most of my department has animals, but that doesn't mean they will have any idea on how to deal with a dog protecting their injued owner. Most have not taken formal training classes with their own dogs and very few can read body language. It took me years but I just (finally) got my Chief to stop staring at every dog he sees. He has been bitten several times because our "police stance" is very challenging to dogs and is ingrained in our every move.

In accidents we (by general practice not policy) will make arrangements to call a "next of kin" if we have that information and time, otherwise the dog goes to the NHSPCA.

Regarding an injured dog, I (luckily) have had only one case of a dog being seriously injured in a crash and I called my personal vet and he came to the scene and took care of the dog. There is an emergency vet clinic in my area, but they only will treat on owner's permission and if you are unconscious I don't know what would happen. And depending on manpower I may not be able to get the dog there in a timely fashion.

I can tell you we do investigate the crashes, but rarely are "waiting around" for EMS to finish. So unles the dog is loose causing a traffic hazard they would likely get stuck in the back of a cruiser. If the dog takes off an leaves the scene or sticks around but won't let me catch it, I cannot chase it while in the middle of my accident call.

As for cards with info on what to do with your dog, I think it is a good idea, but as a practical matter, unless it is in a very conspicuous place we won't see it. I would attach it to your driver's license (we will usually look for this as soon as EMS arrives to take care of you) or your vehicle registration (we may or may not look for this; if we can get the info off the computer we won't). If it is someplace else we won't find it, except by accident. We are just going to flip through your wallet or glove box looking for specific papers and we barely glance at anything not the size and shape of a license, registration, or insurance card.

It is also a very good idea to transport in crate or harness to help prevent escapes but also to keep the dog from becoming a projectile. (if your car is going 45 mph and stops suddenly, your dog is still going 45mph and will go through a windshield). At the very least have a collar and leash on them so we have something to try and grab.
 

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Quote:
In accidents we (by general practice not policy) will make arrangements to call a "next of kin" if we have that information and time, otherwise the dog goes to the NHSPCA.
That's why I like collar tags. Kodee's idea about luggage tags is a great one. Microchips with up-to-date alternative contacts too. (Does your microchip company have the most current information right now?)

The more information that stays WITH/ON the dog the better. And the more ways my dog can say to the outside world "this is who I am, please call my vet, my trainer, my friends, my grandparents, etc" the more likely he'll be taken care of, and returned to me in good shape.

Thanks for your insight Strana.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
That's why I like collar tags. Kodee's idea about luggage tags is a great one. Microchips with up-to-date alternative contacts too. (Does your microchip company have the most current information right now?)

The more information that stays WITH/ON the dog the better. And the more ways my dog can say to the outside world "this is who I am, please call my vet, my trainer, my friends, my grandparents, etc" the more likely he'll be taken care of, and returned to me in good shape.

Thanks for your insight Strana.
I would still put something on the license only because an officer may assume the numbers on the tags are for you, and they know where you are
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Originally Posted By: Strana1

I would still put something on the license only because an officer may assume the numbers on the tags are for you, and they know where you are
What I meant was, if I can find a luggage tag that's big enough, I will fold up the Emergency Contact Info sheet, and put it in the luggage tag that I have attached to his auto harness, not his collar tags. I would probably just write "Emergency contact info for Dog enclosed" on the part that shows through the plastic. I will make sure that MY emergency contact info if I get hurt, it attached to my DL, though.
 
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