So, you found an injured or abandoned animal…
now what do you do?
Well, you found the Lowell Farm & Wildlife Center online, so you are on the right track! Here are the first three things you should do when preparing to aid an animal:
Steps for Encountering Injured or Orphaned Wildlife
Step 1: Assess Situation First. Take Action Second.
Often people are startled or surprised to encounter wildlife unexpectedly. It can be confusing to know just what to do when we see a fledgling bird flopping on the ground, or a rabbit or duck in a strange spot unusually still and lethargic. Other times, we may encounter an “orphan baby”. The truth is – sometimes they need our help, other times they do not. Unless you are absolutely certain that the animal is in extreme or immediate danger or in need-of-attention, it is best to understand what you are doing before making any contact with the animal and determine how to properly help. First read our common solutions per animal (below).
Step 2: Contact Us Without Delay
Still not sure what is happening with the animal? Pretty sure it needs some help? Let’s play it safe – CONTACT US if you still feel the situation requires our assistance and want to get advice and/or to schedule a drop-off.
Step 3: Take Necessary Caution When Handling Any Animal
So we have determined the best course of action is to secure the animal to deliver to a licensed rehabber. Be careful! When available, it is recommended to use live traps and welding gloves and use all possible caution. Injured animals can be dangerous when scared or threatened. Please make minimal contact and try to make them feel comfortable. After securing the animal, please don’t feed it anything – it can be dangerous for the animal’s welfare when a well-intended person tries to administer care for an animal improperly. We appreciate the good intentions, but it is best to let a licensed rehabber assess the situation ASAP. P.s. Please, no kissing any of the babies 😉
Common Situations for Care (per Animal)
Often humans disrupt the nests of squirrels accidentally. If a squirrel is chasing you, it is telling you it needs help. Don’t feed them. Contain the animal in a box. For babies, it is crucial to keep them warm. Please bring to us ASAP.
Secure the rabbit in a dark,dry container. It is important to keep very quiet. Secure in a quiet, non-child & non-pet area. Sudden movements and improper touching can cause severe stress to a rabbit. Remember: as adorable as it is, it is still an unpredictable wild animal.
Do not feed, and handle with extreme caution. Contact us for drop-off ASAP.
For adults, Don’t get bit! Handle with extreme caution. Welding gloves or protective gloves are recommended. Babies need to be kept extremely warm and brought to us ASAP.
Road-hit Mothers and their marsupial young: If you witness a possum hit on the road, you can still save lives! The young in the mother’s pouch can still be rescued. It is important that this happens quickly, as the young can get sick and die quickly nursing on a necrid mother. Check the mother’s pouch for her tiny babies. Keep them as warm as possible and get them to a rehabber immediately.
If you find a fawn very still or sleeping in the woods, it is likely the mother is nearby. Mother deer avoid contact with their fawns while they are sleeping to throw off predators. If the fawns are wandering, or found as the result of the mother being killed, then the fawns need to be cared for. Please arrange a drop-off with us if this is the case.
Farm Mammals: Goats / Pigs / Cows / Llamas
If relinquishing a farm animal, we are a sanctuary for farm animals. Reports for abused farm animals need to go thru Animal Control. We are unable to accommodate horses at this facility.
Farm Birds (domestic): Geese / Ducks / Chickens
We are unable to handle wild birds at this facility. But, we handle domestic birds. If relinquishing a farm animal, we are a sanctuary for farm animals. Reports for abused farm animals need to go thru Animal Control.
Migratory Birds (wild): Geese / Ducks / Swans
We are unable to assist with wild migratory birds at this facility, as we are not Federally licensed yet.
Pet Birds (exotics)
We will accept relinquished pet birds.
Baby Birds (wild)
It is often a misconception that if a baby bird is touched the mother will reject it. It is also a misconception that a baby bird on teh ground is abandoned. If found, don’t take them anywhere. Put them back in their nest. If you can’t find the nest, elevate the bird in a box, (Easter baskets are perfect for hanging) near the place you found it. The mother knows where her baby is and will continue to care for it. If you feel the situation warrants help, please contact a wild bird rehabber from the DNR website listing.
Wild Turtles / Exotic Reptiles
If you encounter injured turtles, contact us immediately. Secure in a dry, dark box for delivery.