When you hear of someone rescuing an injured or sick animal, your first thought maybe that person is keeping the animal as a pet. However, it can be difficult to rescue an animal and care for it long-term without the proper equipment, resources, and knowledge about wildlife rehabilitation and care.
If you come across an injured or sick wild animal and want to help it, read this article on how to keep an injured or sick wild animal in your home so that you can provide it with the specialized care it needs until it is ready to be released back into the wild.
The Pros of Rescuing an Injured or Orphaned Wild Animal
One of the main reasons that people rescue injured or orphaned wild animals is to rehabilitate them, eventually returning them to their natural habitat. But if you’re just looking for a cool pet and don’t want any responsibility beyond feeding and caring for your animal, look elsewhere.
If you adopt an injured or orphaned wild animal and give it a loving home, there are three main advantages.
1) You’ll be helping an animal in need;
2) The animal will likely become more accustomed to humans, which may make it easier for wildlife experts to release it back into its natural environment;
3) As a captive-raised wild animal grows up with human contact, you may develop a close bond with your new friend. This might sound silly, but most pet owners love their pets—wild or not—just like they would a dog or cat. This leads us to our next point…
The Cons of Trying to Keep a Rescue Pet
While it is understandable that you want to give an injured animal a second chance at life, keep in mind that wild animals belong in their natural habitat.
Unless you’re experienced with raising wild animals and have prepared for such an undertaking, adding a new pet to your household is likely to cause more harm than good.
Not only will your new pet be exposed to diseases and parasites not found in its native environment, but its stress levels are also sure to increase dramatically when placed in a foreign setting.
And even if you do succeed in keeping a rescued animal alive—which is no small feat—the long-term effects of captivity on these creatures can be devastating. These include things like depression, anxiety, self-harm behaviors (like pacing), weight loss, and other signs of physical or psychological distress.
As you can see, there are many reasons why trying to keep a rescue pet isn’t always in your best interest. If you feel compelled to help wildlife in need, there are better ways to go about doing so—ways that don’t involve turning them into pets!
Should I Try to Release My Pet Baby Bird Into the Wild?
Some baby birds are abandoned or fledge early, while others are found after they’ve fallen from their nest. But how do you know if a baby bird is best off in your care for life or if it would be better to release it into its natural habitat?
The answer isn’t always clear-cut, but there are ways to help determine whether an injured animal will be able to survive on its own.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when deciding whether or not it’s right for you to try and keep a wild animal as a pet:
Does my pet have all of its feathers?
Can my pet fly yet?
Is my pet eating regularly on his own?
If you answered yes to these questions, then chances are good that your pet has a good chance at survival in nature.
However, if your pet still needs food and water administered via syringe or bottle—or cannot move around without assistance—then releasing him back into nature may be too risky; he might not make it on his own.
Don’t feel bad about making such a tough decision! There are many organizations dedicated to rescuing animals, including wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries.
These facilities provide animals with safe places to live out their lives away from humans who don’t have enough experience or knowledge about caring for them properly.
Call one of these organizations today and see what options are available for you. Just remember that even though taking care of an injured animal might seem like a lot of work, it could also be rewarding!
How Do I Know if My Rescue Is Healthy Enough to Live in My Home?
When looking for ways to help wildlife, it’s easy to get emotionally attached. However, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with wild animals—animals that have not been domesticated to live in our homes and are therefore incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to care for.
If you find an injured animal, take it to a licensed rehabilitator or veterinarian immediately. Licensed professionals will be able to determine whether your rescue is healthy enough to survive in your home or if it should be released back into its natural habitat.
While keeping an injured animal might seem like a great idea at first, most rehabbers can tell you stories of people who attempted to do so and ended up causing more harm than good. As a general rule of thumb: Don’t attempt to raise wild animals on your own!
Help! I Found an Orphaned Baby; Now What Do I Do With It?
So you’ve found an orphaned animal in your backyard and you’re wondering what to do.
Take a deep breath, then step back and look at it from all angles: Can you keep it until its natural parents return, which could take weeks or months? Do you have enough time, space, and resources to care for it until it can live on its own—and is that even legal where you live?
If not, don’t despair; there are other options available to you. The first thing to do is contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center (you can find one here). These centers are staffed with trained professionals who know how to handle sick or injured animals and will know exactly what to do with yours.
If they don’t accept animals brought in by private citizens, they will be able to refer you to someone who does. Also, many rehab facilities offer educational programs designed to teach people about wild animals and why it’s best to leave them alone when possible.
Your last option is simply to let nature run its course. Nature has a way of balancing itself out; if you have healthy adult predators nearby, chances are good that they will prey upon any young left unattended by their mother.
And if you think about it, isn’t letting nature run its course really just another form of rescue? After all, most rescued animals were once part of nature and would likely prefer to be free than kept in captivity.
Just remember that keeping a wild animal as a pet is never truly rescue—it’s illegal, dangerous, and cruel.