Setting Up Temporary Housing for an Injured Wild Animal
What To Do in a Wildlife Emergency
If you have decided to capture a small, injured bird or mammal, please be sure to read the sections about safely handling an injured wild animal, and about the impact of stress and shock to an injured animal.
Then follow these six steps to make the injured animal as comfortable as possible during its short stay with you:
- Shelter: Prepare a well-ventilated, covered box of appropriate size by lining it with something absorbent, like newspaper or clean cloths (without holes or ragged or fringed edges).
- Location: Place the animal in the box and place the box in a safe, quiet, dark place that is free from noise and pet and human traffic.
- Warmth: Place a heating pad set on the lowest temperature underneath HALF of the box. This allows the animal some room to move away from the heat if it gets too warm. Do not use a heating pad if it is a hot day.
- Food and water: Do not offer the animal food or water, and do not leave food or water in the box with the animal. Because the animal has not been medically examined, it is impossible to know the exact extent of its injuries. Feeding it or forcing it to drink water at this point could cause death. As with humans, hospitalized animals need to be very gradually rehydrated and fed using special formulas and techniques. CWC begins this process as soon as the animal enters our Intensive Care Unit.
- Treatment: Do not attempt to treat the animal's injuries. Leaving the animal is the best treatment possible until it can be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. Additional handling causes stress, and improper treatment can cause further injury. One exception is if the animal is bleeding excessively. If this is the case, simply apply gentle pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Do not apply a tourniquet of any kind.
- As soon as possible (once the animal is resting comfortably), call a wildlife rehabilitation center and arrange to drop off the animal.
Injured owl in a box - Call the Help Hotline at 541-745-5324
for more info.
The clinic is open for admitting an injured or orphaned animal every day of the year from 9am to 7pm.