MEDICAL TREATMENT? RESCUE NEEDS?
IMMEDIATE ANSWERS? CALL 224-HAWK (4295)
For the sake of our furry and feathered friends in distress
(and their human advocates),
please DO NOT EMAIL MESSAGES regarding wildlife emergencies
(ie: animals needing medical treatment; animals needing rescue help; anything needing urgent attention or an immediate response).
Please call our HAWKLINE at 224-4295.
If a live person is not available right away, please leave a message!
A response will be forthcoming. We cannot guarantee prompt responses to
website questions, thus risking a successful response in quick time.
Thank you for your concern for the wildlife!
Found an injured or baby animal?
Do I need to help?
Spotting a baby animal by itself does not necessarily mean it is an orphan or needs rescuing. In the first few days or weeks of a baby animal’s life it is often left alone while parents are off searching for food. Many wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. The young need to remain hidden, or at least quiet, to survive. Some animals watch their young from a distance so as to not draw attention to them.
Do not attempt to rescue an animal in theses circumstances:
– A bird who is feathered, has evidence of tail feathers, and is hopping around on the ground but not able to fly is a fledgling (young bird just leaving the nest.) It’s parent is likely nearby, and still feeding it. Unless it is injured or you KNOW it to be orphaned/abandoned, please keep animals and humans away and leave it alone.
– A rabbit who is 4 inches long with open eyes and erect ears is able to fend for itself while its mother is away.
– An opossum who is eight inches or longer, NOT INCLUDING THE TAIL- is independent.
– A squirrel who is nearly full sized, has a full and fluffy tail, and is able to run, jump, and climb is independent.
Keep in mind that despite an animal’s small size, many young are independent enough to fend for themselves. Interference from humans unnecessarily reduces the chance of an animal’s survival. Do not attempt to rescue a healthy animal.
Signs to help determine whether an animal needs your help:
- The animal is presented to you by a dog or cat (or you believe it was caught by dog/cat)
- Bleeding anywhere on its body
- An apparent or obvious broken or injured limb or wing
- Obvious head trauma, head tilts, convulsions
- A featherless or nearly featherless bird on the ground (try to put it back in the nest if possible; it’s ok to touch it!)
- An animal that feels cold to the touch or is shivering
- Evidence of a dead parent nearby
- Infected with ants or parasites
- Seabird beached or stranded on land, or covered in tar or oil
- Fishing hook injury: Do not attempt to remove the hook
- Caught in fishing line, string, netting, it’s bill or muzzle is stuck
- Ingestion of poison, antifreeze
- Trapped in a vehicle or building
- An opossum who has been hit by a car and may have babies in her pouch
If an animal has any of these signs, bring the animal to Silverado Vet Hospital immediately. You can call our Dispatch Operator at 707-224-4295 for assistance.
Critical Steps to ensure a safe rescue for you and the animal:
- Do not handle the animal without consulting a wildlife professional. Even a small animal can hurt you. Contact our Dispatch Operator for assistance as needed.
- Keep the animal in a warm, dark, quiet place. You can use a box with holes punched in for breathing. Line the box with a non-pull material such as a baby blanket or dark colored T- shirts. If you don’t have those, a towel will work.
- Keep the animal warm. A heating pad on low works well. Make sure the animal can get to a cooler spot if desired by putting the heating pad under only half the box.
- Never give any animal food or water! Wild animals have very specific diet needs and could easily choke or develop serious digestive and growth problems. Although there is a lot of information on the internet about this, PLEASE do not feed or give any liquids to an animal. Most captured animals are in shock and eating or drinking can make this worse. Contact our hotline right away.
- Do not let anyone or anything such as pets, children or other people disturb the animal. Added stress from curious animals or people can easily cause death.
Common sense when rescuing wildlife
- Local, regional, and federal laws prohibit you from having a wild animal in your possession. Wildlife rehabilitation and care centers are licensed to keep wildlife for rehabilitation.
- There are diseases that humans and pets can contract from wildlife. There are also diseases that domestic pets can transmit to wildlife.
- Rehabilitators are trained to recognize and take care of injuries, illnesses, parasites, and other conditions that may be present. They can administer necessary medications, manage wounds, and stabilize an animal that is in shock. Not all veterinarians have experience with wildlife. Rehabilitators consult with veterinarians as needed.
- Rehabilitators have the necessary caging, food, and equipment required for each species.
- Rehabilitators are trained to care for an animal while preserving its wildness. Wild animals suffer as a result of human impact. An animal who has lost its normal fear of humans and pets will not survive in the wild. Raising and releasing a tamed wild animal is signing its death sentence!