What to do if you Spot an Injured Wild Animal in your Area
These days, many humans are co-habitating with nature, especially in suburban areas. While it is nice to have a live sample of the Discovery Channel in your back yard, do remember that these animals are wild, and shouldn’t be handled by those who don’t have experience. Every town has a local animal control officer. They are trained experts who know what to do with a sick or injured wild animal.
Just because you see a raccoon out during the day, doesn’t mean they are sick. Raccoons will take a mid day break from their slumber to get something to eat or drink. A raccoon who is infected with rabies will be very slow moving, walking in a staggering motion often falling over frequently. If you do see a rabid raccoon in your yard call animal control immediately, and don’t go near the infected animal. In addition, keep all domesticated pets inside until animal control removes the rabid raccoon from the premises, even if they are up to date on rabies shots. (www.humanesociety.org)
If you hit an animal with your car, you can save it yourself, just remember it is a wild animal, and you should exercise extreme caution. If you have a sheet or an old blanket in your car, and the injured animal isn’t too heavy, you can put it in the back of your car. Keep in mind if the animal is in extreme pain or feels threatened or uncomfortable, they are more likely to lash out by scratching or biting. When transporting the animal from the road to the car, be extremely careful to avoid any further damage, especially spinal cord injuries. Most emergency vet clinics will treat wild animals, and then they will transfer them to a wild life sanctuary where they can get rehabilitated. (www.wikihow.com)
If you have a domesticated animal such as a dog or a cat, chances are they have brought home a “present” and left it on your back deck or doorstep. A cat or a dog has a natural tendency to hunt and kill its prey. However, if you do want to rescue the creature, you can bring it to a vet to be treated. If the animal is just stunned, but unharmed, you can pick it up with a paper towel or a shovel and put it in a place where the dog or cat won’t be able to get to it. This is hard, because cats and dogs can get to almost any place if they are determined enough. (www.wildliferehabilitators.org)
Wild creatures may look cute and cuddly on TV, but in reality it is a completely different situation. It is important to not rescue an animal unless you have some knowledge about the species. If you are interested in becoming more involved in wild animal rescue and rehabilitation, contact your local animal control officer for more information.