They are at the mercy of their finders….
We see lives lost all the time because the animal’s finder lacked either the knowledge or the motivation to help during a critical time.
1. STOP – be willing to stop for a moment and observe the situation. If you think an animal is harmed or in danger, take the time to pull over or stop what you are doing to really take a look at the situation. If you think the animal may be deceased, watch for a minute to see if it is still breathing.
2. BE SAFE – don’t put yourself in a situation where the animal may bite or scratch you. This may not only harm you, but may result in the animal having to be euthanized for rabies testing. This happens more than you think.
3. ACT QUICKLY – If something doesn’t seem right, don’t wait hours or days to contact someone. You can always call a local wildlife rehabilitator and ask if the animal needs assistance if you aren’t sure.
4. CALL AROUND – Don’t give up if the first person you call doesn’t respond. Call your local wildlife rehabilitator, animal control, the Environmental police, or the police department. Leave messages if they don’t answer. Be the animal’s advocate. Most websites have a section where permitted wildlife rehabilitators are listed.
5. WARM, DARK, QUIET – If you can safely contain the animal, keep it in a warm, dark and quiet place until you can get it to someone who can help. Don’t play music in the car if you are transporting it. Don’t keep the animal near other pets or children.
6. DON’T OFFER FOOD OR LIQUIDS – Do not offer food or water. In many circumstances, giving food or water can actually make things worse. For example, if an animal is hypothermic, its body can not process anything until it’s temperature is normalized.
7. BE WILLING TO DRIVE – Be willing to take the animal to where it needs to go. Don’t wait until someone is able to come pick it up. That can waste valuable time and could be the difference between life and death.
8. CONSIDER DONATING – We know it’s not your pet and not your responsibility. Wildlife rehabilitators do not get paid by the government to care for wildlife and donate their time to help these animals in need. Often, they use their personal funds to cover the cost of care. The more funding they have, the more they can provide for the wildlife in their care. Consider that the majority of people who drop off animals do not donate. If you can spare it, it will be appreciated. However, even if you can’t donate, wildlife rehabilitators don’t expect it and will still be happy to help an animal in need. Don’t let that stop you from getting the wild animal help.
PLEASE HELP US GET THE WORD OUT! A finder’s quick response to an animal in need can often be the difference between life and death!