I found an animal. What next?
Spring and summer months are when people most commonly find injured or orphaned wildlife. However, wildlife can be found injured any time of year. The majority of cases people report in spring and summer surround young of the year animals. Sometimes these animals may not need to be presented to a wildlife rehabilitator for care.
Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself before attempting to rescue a wild animal:
1. Is it obviously injured?
Is it bleeding? Is a limb sticking out in the wrong direction? If the answer is yes then call a wildlife rehabilitator in your area to set up care.
2. Was it most likely in a cats mouth?
Cat saliva is toxic and puncture wounds are hard to see through feathers or fur. If you suspect your cat or someone else’s came into contact with the animal please call a wildlife rehabilitator in your area to set up care.
3. Is it not able to fly or hop away from you?
Sometimes that may mean that the animal is injured and sometimes that may mean it is a naive youngster. Before you pick the animal up call a wildlife rehabilitator in your area to make sure that the animal needs care before bringing it in.
4. Is the animal unfeathered or unfurred? Wildlife this young will need care. Call a wildlife rehabilitator in your area to make sure they can accept it for care. Every wildlife rehabilitator must adhere to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife rules and regulations and may not be able to take in every species. Call ahead to make sure they can help.
A list of Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitators can be found at this link. During the busy season they may be inundated with calls. Don’t let that deter you. Leave a message if you are able to and keep calling back. We all want what is best for that animal.
Thank you for your interest and help.