Tips for People Who Find Injured Animals
Tips from animal rehabilitator Martha “Jane” Seeker Newhouse and veterinarian Dr. Victoria Vasilakis for dealing with injured animals:
n If you’re unsure of an animal’s status, it’s always best to call a wildlife rehabber or veterinarian before you try to touch or feed the animal. Sometimes animals that may appear to be orphaned or behaving unusually to well-intending people are actually just fine and the parents might not be that far away, Newhouse said.
It’s better to wait, observe and ask for professional advice before taking any actions that may cause unintended harm. Due to concerns about possible rabies infection, any animal that bites a person has to be put down, no matter what, Vasilakis said.
n If the animal is truly in distress or appears injured or malnourished, place it in a box and keep it indoors in a warm, dark, quiet place until help arrives.
n Do not feed or give the animal water before it is evaluated by a professional. In some instances, especially if an animal is cold, it can’t be fed or watered until it has warmed up or it could suffer further injury, Newhouse said.
n If you want to protect small wildlife from injury, keep your pet cat indoors, Vasilakis said.