Dr. Jewett treats the wildlife for the surrounding counties. We do work with a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, Randy Brooks (540-752-4954) who is also a Licensed Veterinary Technician.
If you come across a wild animal in distress, especially creatures of size or strength, as well as mammals that are classified as rabies vector species, such as raccoons and foxes, you need to protect yourself and your pets from coming in contact with their saliva and other bodily fluids. You should contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator immediately for assistance because only state licensed and specially trained Wildlife Rehabilitators should handle these animals.
Babies are adorable and irresistible and when we come across them the first thing we want to do is rescue them but that is not always the best idea!
It is always best to leave what you think is an “orphaned” animal alone unless is in obvious distress or in an unsafe location. Quite often, its parents are close by and reluctant to return because you are there. Generally, if there is no return within 1-2 hours you should call a Wildlife Rehabilitator or start preparing a container to put them in. The EXCEPTION to this rule would be baby bunnies because the mother only returns at dusk and dawn!
Time is crucial with wildlife, therefore contacting a Wildlife Rehabilitator or Hartwood Animal Hospital is important!
If you come across a rabbit’s nest that has been disturbed, DO NOT touch the babies. Place 2 small twigs across the nest in an “X” or other pattern the mother will disturb when she returns to the nest. Stay away until morning to see if the mother has returned. If the twigs are not disturbed within24hours or the babies are injured or moved from the nest by a cat or other animal, bring the babies to HAH or a Wildlife rescue.
Baby birds that have fallen from the nest should be returned, as long as the nest can be safely reached. It is a myth that parents of a wild bird will reject a baby touched by human hands. The fact is birds have almost no sense of smell!
If you find a squirrel’s nest or baby squirrels lying on the ground, place them near the tree they fell from and watch from a distance to see if the mom returns to rescue them.OPOSSUMS
If you find a “kitten size” or smaller opossum, it’s probably an orphan that needs rescuing.
If you come across an injured turtle it is best to bring them to HAH. Always pick up big turtles from behind with a bath towel. BE CAREFUL with snapping turtles, they will bite!!
The best way to capture wildlife would be to pick them up with a soft towel or cloth and place them in a protective container. This could be a cardboard box with holes or an animal carrier. They should be kept warm, and in a dark, quiet place. Keep children and pets away from them until you are able to get the injured wildlife to a Rehabilitator or HAH.
We hold an annual fundraising Walk for Wildlife event to help Hartwood rehabilitate local wildlife. Please consider participating in this event and/or making a donation to the Hartwood Wildlife Fund.