Every year, PETA receives numerous requests from all over the country from caring people who have found injured or orphaned wildlife and are looking for a place to take them for care. We are glad to know that there are people willing to help these animals, because there is certainly a need for it!Unfortunately, well-meaning people with the best of intentions often "rescue" young animals when, in fact, these baby birds and mammals are perfectly fine and their parents are probably foraging for food nearby. In most cases, young wild animals should be left alone. However, when in doubt, please use the following guidelines as to how you can best determine whether a young animal needs help and, if so, what to do.
Keep the following items in your vehicle at all times so that you'll be ready to respond should you encounter an animal in distress:
Determine whether the animal really needs help!
If you see a wild animal in distress, it is important to resist the temptation to interfere unless the animal is clearly sick, hurt, orphaned, or in immediate danger. In particular, people often mistakenly "rescue" baby animals when their best chance of survival is staying in the care of their parents. Wild animals need help if one or more of the following are true:
If you are unsure of whether an animal needs to be rescued, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitator.
If immediate action is deemed necessary, the following are some steps that you can take to help.
Adult wild animals can be dangerous to humans, so please contact a humane society and/or wildlife rehabilitator to obtain specific instructions before attempting to rescue them. If the animal can fly or run away, chances are that he or she is fine for the time being and might just need to be watched from a safe distance for a few hours or days to ensure that his or her condition isn't worsening.
If rescue is absolutely necessary and the animal is completely immobile and unconscious, drape a blanket or sheet over the animal's head and body and, using gloved hands, lift the animal into a newspaper-lined box or crate. Cover the box or crate with a towel or blanket and place it in a dark, quiet place. Do not offer the animal food or water and please do not attempt to care for the animal yourself. Contact a humane society, veterinarian, or wildlife rehabilitator and arrange transport to a licensed facility immediately.
All birds and their nests, with the exception of pigeons, starlings, grackles, and English house sparrows, are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). If you or anyone else is caught attempting to care for a federally protected bird without a rehabilitation permit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could charge you with MBTA violations. Fines for violating the MBTA are substantial, so please contact a wildlife rehabilitation center and transport the animals for care immediately.For more detailed instructions on what to do if you find a baby mammal or baby bird, please visit the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association's Web site.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.