Your safety is our first priority! Remember that an injured wild animal does not understand you are there to help and will often try defend itself.
General Rescue Guidelines
1. Wear personal protective devices
Each species has different recommended personal protective devices such as gloves and safety glasses that should be used when trying to contain the animal. The use of these devices are designed to protect both you and the animal. In some cases, if an animal bites you, it will need to be euthanized for rabies testing.
In many cases, the best method to contain the animal does not involve having to touch or handle the animal directly.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
We do not recommend going out on a busy roadway to rescue an injured animal. In these cases, it is often best to call your local police for assistance.
Some animals may have a mate or parent that may act aggressively toward you if as you approach the animal. Be aware of other animals in the vicinity.
In an attempt to flee, an animal may put themselves into more danger. Choose an approach for your rescue that will not push the animal into a busy roadway or other hazard.
3. Contact other resources for assistance
Capturing wild animals come with some inherent risks. If you are uncomfortable catching the animal yourself after receiving instruction, there may be other resources to assist you. Please call your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator for additional instructions.
4. Secure in a container
Once the animal is captured, place the secured container in a quiet, dark environment until transport. If the container has see-through sides, cover the entire container with a sheet or other lightweight material to restrict the visual stimuli for the animal.
5. Do not feed or give water
Please do offer any food or water to the animal. Most injured animals are dehydrated, and often emaciated, and feeding before stabilizing them can result in their death.
6. Make an appointment
If you don’t already have an appointment, please call Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center right away at 608-287-3235, or your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
The law allows a member of the public 24 hours to transport the animal to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, but the sooner the animal receives care the better its chances of successful treatment.
7. Transport safely
During transport to the wildlife center, please keep the car quiet by leaving the radio off and keeping voices low. For more information about safely transporting wildlife once contained, learn more here.