Here at SeaPort Vet, it’s not unusual for clients or passers-by to bring in injured wildlife. We are able to save or place many of those animals with local rehabilitators. It’s a team effort helping with these critters, so knowing how to help is important.
Recommendations regarding the handling of injured wildlife vary depending on where you live. Good guidelines for residents of Massachusetts can be found on the Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association of Massachusetts website at http://www.wraminc.org/index.html.
For birds, the guidelines are based on whether or not the bird is injured, and if it already has feathers. For mammals, the guidelines focus on the presence of injuries and the ability to identify the animal’s den.
Please remember that you can easily be injured by wild animals, so never put yourself in harms way. Birds can do a lot of damage with their beaks and feet, and mammals can bite or scratch. Many species of mammals can carry rabies which is fatal to humans, so always consider contacting the appropriate resources before intervening directly.