Thank you for being a caring person and for taking the time to save wildlife! Once you have identified an animal in need of care, it will be necessary to contain the animal so that it can be safely transported to a permitted animal rehabilitator. Only adults should handle wildlife, provided it can be done safely.
Steps in the Transport Process:
- Choose an appropriate container for transport.
Containers need to be chosen based on the wildlife being rescued/transported. For tiny to small animals, a shoe box with a few extra air holes poked from the inside out works well. For medium to older babies, use a small to medium pet carrier or larger box. If using a pet carrier, cover the carrier to make the inside dark. For adult animals, be sure the container has a lid and that the animal cannot chew through or get out of the container. Remember darkness helps the animal to relax. Never transport with an open container!
- Prepare your container
Provide soft bedding. An old T-shirt or similar fabric is ideal. Avoid fabrics with large loops or an extremely open weave. Towels, terry cloth, and similar fabrics have threads that can get wrapped around little toes and ankles and cut off circulation.
- Placing animals in the container
For baby animals, use an old T-shirt or wear gloves to gently pick up and place the baby wildlife in the container. Older wildlife will definitely require gloves and the T-shirt or a towel In order to have adequate fabric between you and the terrified animal. The towel serves two purposes: aids in protecting your hands and covers the little animal’s eyes to make it less afraid as you pick up and place in the container.
- Provide heat source. Read FAQ “Ways to provide heat for orphaned or injured wild animal”.
- Reach out to a professional.
Contact DFW Wildlife Coalition hotline 972-234-9453 or a permitted wildlife rehabilitator for instructions and information on when and where to transport. The hotline is staffed by volunteers and rehabilitators might be caring for animals when you call. It may take an hour or so for a return phone call. Until then, keep the container in a quite dark place away from family pets and children.
- Be prepared to transport as soon as possible.
If you are personally unavailable, check with friends, family, or neighbors. Often there is someone willing to participate in the rescue. If you still are having difficulty check with your HOA, neighborhood app or Facebook. Uber is an option as well.
- During the transport process:
** Please refrain from using the radio while driving. The little life you are transporting is very afraid and the radio will only add to its stress.
** Please do not transport in the bed of a pickup truck! Wind, road noise, and extreme temperatures could further compromise the animal.
- Meeting the Rehabber:
When meeting the rehabilitation professional and handing off the animal, please remember to give details of the rescue to the rehabber.
** A donation towards the care of the animal would also be deeply appreciated by the rehabber. Rehabilitators do not receive assistance from city or state agencies.
Thank you for being a caring person and for taking the time to save wildlife!