Article & images by Jen Howard.
Approx. 3 minute read
The first round of orphans are on their way home, vaccinations being administered. So much work, so many hours and sleepless nights are now being rewarded when we say goodbye. It is the best time of the year for all volunteer wildlife rehabbers when wildlife are returned to their natural habitat.
But more orphans are arriving now who will need to overwinter with us. What do you do when you find an animal in distress or tiny orphans? Freeing up space by releasing the animals who are ready doesn’t mean we are going to get a break. Seems we are not. Eyes closed babies are coming in again; cottontail rabbits, eastern grey squirrels. If you find a baby squirrel or often they find you, they will actually climb your leg, looking for help. This is a sure sign something has happened to mom. They will have fleas, could have fly eggs on them, be dehydrated, cold and hungry. Desperate for help.
Secure them, put a heat source in asap, and call us immediately at 1-905-729-0033. DO NOT FEED. They need help. Warming can be done with a sock full of rice heated in microwave, a heating pad placed on medium under the box, or a hot water bottle placed under them wrapped in a towel or fleece. Always make sure it is not directly on them as it will be too hot for them. Keep them in a quiet place and call. Trying to give liquids to a hypothermic infant could cause major issues, also they can aspirate, meaning fluid goes into their lungs causing pneumonia. They most likely will die, they need immediate help to try get them through. So, MAKE THAT CALL.
If you find bunnies, remember mom comes to care for them twice per day, at dawn and dusk. If bunnies have been attacked call us, 9 out of 10 times they need antibiotics asap to save them. A tiny wound from a cat could kill them. Do same as for the squirrels, secure and warm them and call. That’s it. We will arrange a time with you to admit. Leave a message (only one), we will call back.
In a world of humans versus wildlife, more wild animals are being displaced and injured because of developments, roads and highways, boat traffic, and pets. An animal in need should be brought to us quickly for a successful rehabilitation. Saving a life means not caring for it yourself. That’s what we are here for.
Should you see an animal lying on the side of the road, unless it is obviously dead, please stop and check. They could be alive and we may be able to help them. Always protect yourself while securing them by wearing gloves, keep them warm, and call us. State in your message if it is an emergency.
Good to help an animal in distress, bad to keep them to try care for them, and it’s beautiful to see them, healthy and strong again on release day. Watching them run free once more because you did the right thing. Keeping everyone safe and happy. Great idea these days to carry an emergency kit in your car. Tote, blanket, gloves, masks, sanitizer, notebook for address and details and our number to call. You got this. We will do the rest.
Please consider sponsoring a baby wild animal today.