Found An Orphaned Animal? Here’s What To Do

 In Exotic Pet, Wildlife Rehabilitation

During the late spring months, it can be common to find baby animals such as birds, deer, rabbits, and squirrels that appear orphaned. In addition, you might feel the animal is unable to survive on their own. As with any interaction pertaining to wild animals, you should always exercise extreme caution. All wild animals, even babies, are unpredictable and can become aggressive if frightened. If you believe you found an orphaned animal, follow these steps.


Many animals leave their young for long periods of time. According to The Humane Society of The United States, rabbits, deer, and foxes visit their young infrequently to keep predators from finding them. If you see one of these animals alone, chances are their mother is still close by. Safely observe the animal from a distance. If it’s energetic and appears healthy otherwise, don’t worry. If you’re still unsure, make a note of the animal’s location and return just before dusk. Most animals will shepherd their young to safety by this time. If the animal remains, it may need your assistance.

Contact A Professional

If you are sure the mother is not going to return for the baby, call an expert. You should not, under any circumstances, attempt to raise an orphaned animal without proper training and credentials. There are plenty of wildlife rehabilitation centers that will be happy to help, including our very own staff in Kingsport, TN. If you find in orphaned animal near Kingsport, call us at (423) 378-4443, so we can help you safely handle and transport the animal to our offices.

Arrange Safe Transportation

Once you have a destination, you need to carefully capture the animal and transport it to the rehab facility while causing as little distress as possible. Bring a towel or pillowcase with you and wear thick gloves to protect your hands. Find a secure crate or carrier to place the animal. If one is not available, try to find a cardboard box. Drape the towel or pillowcase over the animal before placing it gently into the container, away from any pets, noise, or other sources of discomfort.

Please do not feed the animal or attempt to touch it without gloves. The best thing you can do is keep it comfortable while you take it to a team of trained professionals who will help to rehabilitate the animal and get it back into the wild.

To learn more about what to do to if you have found an orphaned animal, check out Andes-Straley Veterinarian Hospital. Not only do we offer wildlife rehabilitation, but exotic pet care as well. Visit us online here or call us at (423) 378-4443 today!