What To Do If
If you find an injured or orphaned animal first take the time to observe the animal and it's behavior. If you conclude it's definitely injured, call Sarvey Wildlife Care Center at (360) 435 4817 and describe it's condition. Sarvey will suggest the best course of action for that animal.
Please, use common sense if you need to contain the animal. It's important to remember that any wild animal will try to protect itself. This is a natural reaction; they don't know your trying to help them. Don't consider the animal to be vicious, it is very very scared.
If you have determined that the animal needs to be transported for rehabilitation:
- Prepare a container - put a soft cloth in a cardboard box or cat/dog carrier. Make sure there are air holes.
- Protect yourself- wear heavy gloves if possible. Some animals may bite or scratch to protect themselves, even if sick or injured. Remember they are terrified of you.
- Cover the container-with a light sheet or towel. You want to keep the animal warm and calm. Keeping the container dark will help keep the animal calm.
- Gently cover and pick up the animal, putting it in the prepared container.
- This is worth repeating---Keep the animal warm, in a dark and quiet area.
- Note exactly where you found it. (Location information is essential for releasing it to an appropriate and/or familiar area)
- Bring it Sarvey Wildlife or one of our drop off locations. Call us for locations. Not all vet clinics take all species, so you must call us first.
- Please do not give the animal food or water and remember to keep it away from children and pets.
All migratory birds are protected by federal and state laws and there are stiff penalties for violations. It is illegal to shoot, trap, or otherwise harm any migratory bird. It is illegal to have possession of a migratory bird. If it is one that is injured or orphaned you can transport it to a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitation center immediately for care. It is also illegal to possess an egg or feather of one of these birds without a special federal permit. These laws are intended to protect our valuable birds, so that they will continue to play their vital role in maintaining the health of the natural ecosystems.
Information about a specific animal
If the mother is found dead you can check her pouch for babies. They are attached to her nipples and can be gently removed. Keep them warm and get them to Sarvey Wildlife as soon as possible. Opossums that are 7 inches long (not measuring the tail) and are not injured usually don't need assistance. At this size and age they are self-sufficient.
Often people see fawns sitting quietly, all alone, and think they have been abandoned. In most cases the mother has left the fawn while she is off foraging. This is quite normal and the mother will return for her baby. Sometimes well-intentioned people "rescue" the fawn. If you find a fawn and it's lying quietly, leave it alone, and leave the area. Mom will not return while you are nearby, and she is more than likely watching you. Check the area the following day, if the fawn is still in the same place it needs help. If the fawn is obviously injured or you know that mom is dead, call Sarvey Wildlife immediately.
Point of interest
Doe's routinely hide their defenseless babies in brush or tall grass while they are away feeding. She will return to the fawn a few times during the day to nurse it. Fawns can remain motionless for long periods of time, and give off no odor at this stage of their life. A predator can walk right by the fawn without detecting their presence.
If a bird has hit your window and appears injured/stunned, place it in a box/container with a lid, be sure there are air holes. Place the box/container in a quiet area and monitor for a few hours. In many cases (if stunned) the bird will be ready to fly away in an hour or two. If a bird has been attacked by a cat or dog, please bring it to Sarvey Wildlife for treatment as soon as possible.