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.