ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

About the Animal Poison Control Center

Animal-related emergency? Call 888.426.4435

For non-emergency information about our services, please call Customer Service, 888.426.4911 

Helping animals exposed to potentially hazardous substances is the mission of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC). As North America's premier animal poison control center, the APCC:

  • Provides 24-hour veterinary and diagnostic treatment recommendations by specially trained veterinary toxicologists
  • Protects and improves animal lives through toxicology education, consulting services, and case data review (as an alternative to traditional animal research)
  • Developed AnTox™, a powerful, clinical, animal toxicology database system, to identify and characterize toxic effects of substances in animals
  • Works closely with human poison control centers to provide animal poisoning information and is a member of the American Association of Poison Control Centers
  • Offers extensive veterinary toxicology consulting to organizations in industry, government, and agriculture

The Animal Poison Control Center was the first to discover Lillium and Hemerocallis Spp toxicity in cats, Vitis sp (grapes and raisins) toxicity in dogs, and Macadamia nut toxicities. We wrote the first articles on bromethalin toxicity and helped shape the treatment for many toxins including cholecalciferol, permethrin, and 5-fluorouracil. We've published over 250 articles and book chapters in the last 25 years and given countless hours of continuing education to veterinarians, veterinary staff and pet owners.

More About APCC

An overview of our services

APCC staff bios

What is AnTox™

Poison Control for Pet Owners

Staff, Structure & Partnerships

As of 2015, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center includes a full staff of veterinarians, including board-certified toxicologists, certified veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants.

APCC is an Allied Agency of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Several staff members currently hold university appointments, and APCC provides clinical toxicology training to veterinary toxicology residents.

Our History

The Animal Poison Control Center was founded in the fall of 1978 by renowned veterinary toxicologist Dr. William S. Buck at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

Up until a year earlier Dr. Buck had been working across the Midwest gaining a reputation as a knowledgeable and well-respected toxicologist, and his willingness to help those in need followed him to the University of Illinois, where he continued to receive calls from veterinarians and livestock producers.

He decided to put his three graduate students to work, starting what would become ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in a humble chicken coop. In its first year, the APCC took 352 calls, and the number quickly expanded: By the APCC's third year it fielded 2,321 calls, and by the 10th year the number skyrocketed to 28,512.

Today the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center's state-of-the-art emergency call center is routinely asked for help from callers in South America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands!

With all that growth have come challenges. The center was a free service with funding from several locations including the University of Illinois, grants and donations, but by 1990 that was just not enough and the center was at risk of closing. A fee for the service was instituted that year, but the ultimate help finally came in 1996 when ASPCA decided to take the center under its wing.