If you've encountered an injured animal, you probably want to do whatever you can to help. Whether it's a wild animal or a domestic animal like a cat or dog, it's very important to approach the situation with extreme caution. The animal may have diseases, and it also may hurt you because it is scared and panicked. If you want to help, always take the proper precautions, restrain the animal as best you can, and get it professional medical treatment as soon as possible.
Part 1 of 3:Protecting Yourself
1Stay away from dangerous animals. If you come across an injured animal that could cause you serious harm, such as a bear, a wolf, or a snake, do not approach it! In this case, it's best to leave the rescue up to the professionals. Stay at a safe distance and call your local animal control office. If they can't help you, they should be able to refer you to someone who can.
2Avoid hurting yourself. It's important not to neglect your own safety or overestimate your physical abilities when trying to help an injured animal. If you do, you will not only fail to help the animal, but you'll end up hurt as well.
Don't try to pick up very heavy animals unless you are absolutely sure that you are strong enough.
Don't try to open a snare or a trap. This should be left to the professionals.
If you're near a road, be very careful of traffic. Alert other drivers to your presence by using your hazard lights or flares.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
3Protect yourself from germs. When you find an injured animal, you never know what kind of diseases it may have, so it's important to protect yourself. Avoid direct contact with the animal as much as possible, and always wash your hands after any contact with an animal.
Ideally, you should wear gloves whenever touching an unfamiliar animal.
If you carry the animal, be sure to keep it away from your face.
4Protect yourself from bites and scratches. Injured animals are often scared and may panic when you approach them. For this reason, it's important to protect yourself from getting bitten or scratched.
Heavy gloves and thick sleeves will help protect you.
Whenever possible, wrap the animal in a heavy towel, blanket, or piece of clothing before picking it up.
Part 2 of 3:Making the Animal Feel Safe
1Approach the animal slowly. When approaching an animal, keep in mind that the animal does not know you and does not know why you are approaching. Whether you are dealing with a wild animal or a domestic animal, it's important to move very slowly in order to avoid scaring it.
If the animal runs, don't chase it. Instead, turn away for a minute before attempting the same approach again.
2Make yourself look less threatening. The injured animal you're approaching is probably terrified, so it's important to use body language in order to convey to the animal that you do not want to hurt it. You can do this by crouching down to the ground to make yourself as small as possible. Avoiding direct eye contact will also help the animal see you as less of a threat.
3Talk to domestic animals. Domestic animals are used to hearing human voices, so try talking to them very softly as you approach them. This may help soothe them.
If you're dealing with a wild animal, stay as quiet as you can. They will not respond to human voices the same way domestic animals will.
Part 3 of 3:Catching the Animal and Getting Help
1Coax the animal into a carrier or box. If the animal is very tame and/or not very mobile, you may be able pick it up and place it in a cat carrier or cardboard box. If the animal will not let you pick it up, you can try using food to help coax it into the carrier.
Place a towel or blanket in the carrier or box to make it more comfortable.
If you are using a box, make sure it is ventilated.
2Attempt to leash dogs. If you come across an injured dog, you may be able to keep it from getting away by leashing it. If you don't have a leash on hand, you can try to use a piece of rope or cloth as an impromptu leash.
Be sure to move very slowly when you approach the dog's neck so that it doesn't see you as a threat.
Once the dog is leashed, get it to an enclosed area as soon as possible or call for help from where you are.
3Use food to get the animal in your car. If you were driving when you found the animal, you may be able to get the animal to jump into your car. Use treats or canned food to coax the animal closer to you and eventually into the car. Be sure to close the doors as soon as the animal is inside.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
Don't drive with an unknown, unrestrained animal in your car, as this might be dangerous. Instead, leave the animal in your car and call for help.
4Herd the animal away from dangers. If the animal is mobile and you cannot catch it, you may still be able to contain it in a safer area. For example, you could attempt to herd it into a fenced yard from which it cannot escape.
This technique is especially useful if there are immediate dangers, like traffic, present. Even if you can't get the animal in a contained area, try to herd it to a safer spot.
5Cover large animals that can't be moved. If the injured animal is too large to be placed in a carrier and you cannot get it into your car, do what you can to make it more comfortable while you call for help. Covering the animal with a blanket, towel, or article or clothing will help keep it warm.
6Set a humane trap. If you cannot catch a small injured animal, you may want to set a humane trap to catch it so that you will be able to get it help. You will need to place some appealing food inside the trap to lure the animal inside. Once it is inside the trap, the animal will not be able to get out.
You may be able to borrow a humane trap from your local shelter.
If the animal is afraid of you, leave the area for a while so that it will feel more comfortable approaching the food.
Be sure to check the trap frequently to make sure the animal is not inside for any longer than necessary.
7Bring the animal to a vet or shelter. If you have successfully caught the animal and are able to transport it, make sure to get it medical help right away. Depending on the type of animal it is and your location, you may have the option of taking it to a shelter or a vet.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
If you're dealing with a wild animal, make sure to call the facility you plan on taking it to first to double-check that they can care for that species.
Shelters may not always be able to help, especially if the animal is severely injured. Most of them have limited space and funds.
Understand that you may have to pay for veterinary treatment if you bring the animal to a private vet. You may want to try calling around to find some place that would be willing to provide the animal with free care.
8Call for help. If you can't get the animal to a vet yourself, call for help as soon as you've done everything you can to restrain the animal or get it away from danger. Your local animal control agency will be able to handle the situation from here.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
If you don't have an animal control agency in your area, call the police. You might also consider calling a wildlife rehabilitator if you can find one in your area.