Dear Heloise: As a dispatcher for the police department, I can tell you that we get a lot of 911 calls that are not an emergency. It’s not uncommon for someone to call to inquire about the weather and road conditions, a store that refuses to accept a returned item or any other nuisance calls that are not an emergency. So, what are nuisance calls?
• A noisy party or gathering.
• When your power is not working.
• To ask about paying a ticket, or to ask us to fix a ticket.
• Minor cuts, falls or injuries.
Calling with something foolish can delay response when there might be a real emergency somewhere.
— A Reader in California
Spay and neuter
Dear Heloise: Annually, hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters across America. Many die because of overpopulation, although that is just part of the problem. You can and should have your pets neutered and spayed at low-cost shelters. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org/pet-care), the National Spay Alliance Foundation (nationalspayalliancefoundation.org) and the local Humane Society in your area know where you can get low-cost spaying and neutering, or you can go online to search. Unless you are a breeder, you need to get your pet fixed and microchipped. Remember, your pet will be healthier, and you’ll reduce the number of unwanted pets if you have them
neutered or spayed.
— Nicole K. in Detroit
Dear Readers: We receive a large volume of letters from readers who want to know how to block robocalls. Here are some suggestions we’ve gathered for you:
1. Get on the National Do Not Call Registry (donotcall.gov).
2. Buy a robocall-blocking device, which will blacklist numbers.
3. If you have caller ID, don’t answer calls you don’t recognize.
If you’re registered on the National Do Not Call Registry for a month or longer and you’re still getting calls, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Take your time
Dear Heloise: I travel all over the world, and I’ve discovered two very important things: The first is to take your time when traveling. Don’t rush through the places you visit. Enjoy the sights by taking time to sit and observe a place, a monument, the people and the beauty of what you’re looking at in that moment. If you’ve ventured off the beaten path and are away from the tourist areas, you can observe the nuances of a different
The second thing is to bring more money than you planned to spend. It’s very common for things to cost more than you anticipated, or to see something you want to take home with you as a memento of a nice vacation. Don’t go home after a trip and say, “I wish I had bought that painting.”
— A Reader, via email
Send a great hint to:
P.O. Box 795001
San Antonio, TX 78279-5001