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If you have an animal, the best thing you can do is keep it warm, dark, dry, and quiet and drive it to the appropriate rehab.
Rehabilitation facilities are run by volunteers. Nobody makes any money, it's never convenient, and everyone does it because they care. Rehabs have incubators, medical supplies, veterinarian assistance, large aviaries, and a team of experienced volunteers ready to help. Never try to rehabilitate a wild animal on your own. It is illegal, and the animal winds up suffering because it doesn't get the proper treatment.
Wildlife is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. It is a federal offense for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, harass, or offer for sale any migratory bird or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to Federal regulations. The migratory bird species protected by the act are listed in 50 CFR 10.13.
Birds have an intricate respiratory system and a very large airway. They easily inhale water into their lungs, which creates an infection that commonly becomes fatal. Birds do not cough and are not used to being fed by a dropper. Attempting to offer hydration by dripping water into their beaks is extremely dangerous. Baby birds drown easily, and sometimes even a shallow bowl of water is dangerous. Please make sure you talk to a licensed facility before you try to provide any water to a wild animal in your possession.
Feeding a sick, cold, broken, emaciated, or dehydrated animal will kill it. Trauma and dehydration shut down the body’s ability to process food. It is more helpful to get the animal to the proper wildlife center than to feed it.
Air-conditioned temperatures will put young featherless birds and small mammals into shock, which makes them decline quickly. Young animals should be treated like infants. Please provide supplemental warmth and a soft blanket to cuddle up in, and make sure they feel a bit warmer than your hand without being too hot.
The darker the area is, the calmer the animal will be. The calmer the animal is, the less likely it will be to hurt itself more. Holding and transport carriers should always be covered so the animal cannot see out.
A common mistake is to put a flimsy water bowl inside an enclosure, and it just gets tipped over. Please do not offer food or water until talking to a rehabilitation center first.
Televisions, radios, slamming doors, children screaming, people talking, dogs barking, and so on all add stress. In order to help a wild animal, the room needs to be as stress free as possible. The more comfort the animal feels, the more easily it will be able to rest and heal.
Your support and contributions enable us to build more habitats, help more wildlife, engage more farmers, create larger conservation areas, and support more rehabilitation centers.