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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Assisting Animals in Need

The following article originally appeared on PETA Prime.

In any animal emergency, the most important thing you can do is to remain calm and avoid leaving the animal unattended. Please don’t assume that someone else will help. If you leave, the animal might never be found, might end up in a dangerous situation, might be abused or killed by cruel people, or might die from his or her injuries or from exposure to the elements.

Keep an animal rescue kit in your car so that you’ll be prepared to respond should you encounter an animal in distress. The kit should contain the following items:

• Carrier (medium-sized), cardboard or plastic
• Towel or blanket (with no strings or loops)
• Net
• Leash
• Thick gloves
• Broom (to gently coax a wild animal into a carrier or away from a dangerous area)
• Snow shovel or similar tool (to gently lift an immobile mammal into a carrier or out of harm’s way)
• Directions to and phone numbers of local animal control bureaus and animal shelters, 24-hour emergency veterinary hospitals, and wildlife rehabilitators.

We have created a PETA Rescue Kit containing a cardboard carrier, a nylon lead, a towel, and a “Be an Angel for Animals” packet full of information to help prepare you for emergencies.

Please stop to help if you find an injured animal. When approaching the animal, move slowly (back up to the animal if he or she is totally frightened during your approach) and quietly, and stay as close to the ground as possible. Refrain from talking or making contact. If the animal cannot be moved or safely contained, cover him or her with a towel or blanket so that he or she will stay calm until help arrives and call 911. If the animal can be safely moved, place him or her in a covered box or carrier, and put the box in a dark, quiet place. Make sure that the animal doesn’t get too hot or cold and can breathe inside the box. Don’t feed the animal or offer him or her water. Contact an animal control or state wildlife agency or a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately.

If you find a baby wild animal who’s alone or without a parent, don’t step in when it’s best to step aside. As the weather begins to warm up for many of us, baby animals will be a common sight, but if they aren’t hurt or in immediate danger, they usually don’t need help. Mom is probably gathering food nearby. Observe from afar to confirm that the mother is in fact caring for her young. Some mammal mothers such as deer and rabbits will only attend to their young at dusk and dawn.

Remember that it is not always fair to put a wild animal through the trauma of being handled by humans and suffering the pain of surgery and recovery in an alien environment, especially when so many do not pull through. Those who do are doomed either to live in a cage in captivity for the rest of their lives or to be released with a physical disadvantage as they attempt to fend for themselves again in the wild. In such a case, paying for euthanasia at the veterinary office or heading for the animal shelter is probably the best option, but do stay with the animal to ensure immediate relief of his or her suffering.

If you do end up with orphaned young birds or mammals, make them comfortable just as you would if they were injured animals. But do not attempt to care for the animals yourself! Please call your local animal control agency or wildlife rehabilitation center and transport the baby animals for care immediately.

Most birds 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! It’s also illegal to possess wildlife without a license in most states because these animals require expert handling and care, so please contact an animal control agency or wildlife rehabilitation center and transport the animals for care immediately.

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  • vikas Jain says:

    Only one way to make a batter world is Save animal save humanity.

    We feel pain, these animals also feels the same.
    We human love our children,these animals also do the same.

    The difference is we human are selfish, money minded, cheap, but these animals do not have these qualities.

    We cheap minded human eat meat just for taste and feel proud to be human.

  • Jennifer Stewart says:

    I was just wondering if anyone can give me an idea’s for a cover (blanket) what I can use to dye it a very bright colour. I have covers right now that are hospital issue but they are white. On the road a brighter colour for me personally would work better so that the area can be seen quickly. I just worry about if there are any open sores and putting a matterial on it that could make it worst. Please let me know if you have an idea’s. Thanks

  • Michelle says:

    The biggest wildlife rescue in the city I live in places the animal with groups of it’s own kind after they heal, usually at a volunteer’s home who cares for that particular kind of animal. I really do not agree with your statement that the animal should be euthanized. That’s not right. Also wildlife rescues can always use more volunteers and are usually very welcoming to them. After you learn about the care of animals you can become someone who cares for groups of them at your home, which I’m sure is always needed. They’re not treated as pets, they are treated as wild animals and not bothered by people. Someone interested in learning veterinary medicine could really learn a lot about the medical care of animals by volunteering at a wildlife organization, but it’s something anyone can do. All you need is a good heart.

  • jakki says:

    Thanks for the usefull info; I’ll get a rescue kit together and leave in my camper;Keep up the good work

  • Pamela Kaczynski says:

    The artical was a great help to me also. thanks for the info

  • Allen L. says:

    THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT TIPS!!! Most people when it comes to Natural disasters or just bad storms in thier area(s) think of only thier pets. With these helpfull hints, we can also take care of our wildlife in our yards in emergancy. I live in a heavy wooded area and I see alot of wildlife and I always wonder when a bad storm hits on if and how the wild life servive. THANK YOU PETA for your Simple and VERY Helpfull hints on Emergancy Rescue tips!!! GREAT JOB YOU MAKE ME PROUD BEING A PETA MEMBER!!!

  • chander kumar soni says:

    i will help peta.

  • Amrit says:

    I live in a small coastal town in India where there are no rehabilitation centres, or animal shelters. If there is an injured animal we have to act ourselves. There are many like me in India. Kindly give information keeping people like us in mind.

  • dina says:

    very helpful! i often find myself in a situation where i want to help but am not sure how. this article helped me organize my animal emergency kit for my car.

    if you see an animal in need-always stop! : )

  • Nilima zorlin says:

    Its a great help. I know what i need to do nw.

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