Home > Action & Advice > General Public > Helping an Injured Animal

Helping an Injured Animal

What to do with injured wild animals

If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is.

If possible, contain the animal before calling – see advice below.

Contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999
OR take it to a nearby vet or wildlife rehabilitator


Wild animals can scratch and bite when frightened, particularly if they are injured.
If in doubt, keep a safe distance and call the RSPCA.

Apply common sense when approaching an injured animal:

  • Never lift a wild animal, unless you are sure that you can do so without risk to yourself or others.
  • Wear gloves when handling all wild animals, especially oiled wildlife – pollutants like oil can be hazardous.
  • Keep the animal away from your face.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling an animal.
  • Take care in dangerous locations, such as a busy road. Watch from a distance first to see whether the animal is still alive, call for help if you can’t reach it safely.
  • Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal and it could be an offence if the animal was legally caught. Stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location.

Capture and boxing

If it’s safe to catch and handle the animal, then, wearing suitable gloves, quickly place it into a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lined with towel or newspaper. Keep the animal quiet and take it to a vet, RSPCA wildlife centre or local wildlife rehabilitator, (but note not all have been inspected by the RSPCA).

It’s often faster to take an animal to a vet yourself as your nearest RSPCA officer may be out of the area attending other calls.

IF you are NOT able to transport the animal to your local vet or local wildlife rehabilitator yourself, then call the RSPCA on the 24 Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999 to report cruelty or an animal in distress.

Information provided by the RSPCA

Report the Wildlife Crime

It is important once the injured animal has been seen to, to also report their injury as a wildlife crime.

Click here for information on Reporting Wildlife Crime

Print Page

Hounds Off Success Stories

Thank you so much for the wonderful support and advice you provide through Hounds Off. We repeatedly suffer from the arrogant and bullying behaviour of our local hunt in Kent called the Ashford Valley Hunt. We plan to use all available methods to put an end to this harassment. JC, Kent

We warned off our local hunt simultaneously with family and friends. They have steered clear since then.
JH, Dorset

When the hunters killed a fox behind our gardens I contacted Hounds Off and they helped us to stop this happening here again. CR, Kent

With Hounds Off I’ve protected my animals from further attacks by hunting dogs.
RS, Worcestershire

Share this page: