SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— It’s common during the summer for people to come across injured animals, especially on their camping trips and other outdoor getaways. Coming across an injured animal could even happen at home.
Dr. Jennifer Scarlett with the San Francisco SPCA says there are distress signs we should look for, but we should also know to leave well enough alone at other times.
“Not all wild animals that we come across need rescuing. The last thing we want to do is to kidnap a healthy animal,” Scarlett said.
She says to call a local wildlife rehabilitator (especially if it’s a marine mammal) to determine if the animal needs to be rescued. Be sure to describe the animal and its location. Look for possible orphans and baby animals. For birds you’ll see them without feathers or they could be shivering or a dead parent could be nearby.
There are other obvious signs of trauma like bleeding and broken bones. If it’s a small animal, like a featherless bird, you can pick them up using a towel and gloves and place them in a quiet, dry ventilated box, away from pets and children.
There are some situations that require special care that normal people should steer clear of. This could be due to the animal’s size or their propensity to bite and carry rabies; like coyotes, raccoons, and bats. Don’t try to pick these animals up. In fact you should contact local animal control.
We have plenty of resources here in the Bay Area. San Francisco Rescued Orphaned Mammal Program, or SF ROMP, is a local wildlife rehabilitator. WildCare Solutions based in San Rafael is another. Scarlett calls the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito the pride of the shoreline. All of these facilities can be supported through donations or volunteering.