If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal after hours, please follow these steps:
Handling wild animals can be dangerous and they can carry diseases and parasites. Always use extreme caution when handling any wildlife, even the smallest creatures can injure you when they are hurt, stressed, and scared and may bite. They can also carry and transfer certain diseases and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Rabies vector species mammals; Bobcats, Coyotes, Raccoons, Otters, Foxes, and Bats or large Birds of Prey such as Eagles, Hawks, and Owls can cause serious injury and require experienced handlers and the use of thick gloves when handling. Please follow the “If you CAN NOT safely handle the animal” directions below.
If you are able to safely handle the animal without causing injury to yourself or the animal
- Using an appropriate size pillowcase, towel, or similar, carefully and gently throw over the full-body completely covering the head, wrap loosely around the body and legs, so the animal can still be able to take deep breaths
- Gently pick up the animal and place it into any container that has a secure pre-ventilated lid and lined inside with soft warm material
- Leave the container covered in a safe, quiet, and warm area of your home such as your garage away from pets, children, and noise
- Do not attempt to treat or feed the animal like this can be more harmful and stressful to the animal, the less stress on the animal the better its chance of survival
- Call (941) 637-3830 and leave a message with brief details that you have the animal in your possession (include the animal’s location and your phone number)
- Transport the animal to the Center first thing in the morning or call us at (941) 637-3830 for pick up arrangements
If you CANNOT safely handle the animal without causing injury to yourself or the animal
- If possible, carefully place a box, laundry basket, recycle bin, or similar that allows airflow over the top of the animal to contain it
- Call (941) 637-3830 and Animal Control at (941) 833-5690 and leave a message with brief details that you have the animal contained (including animal location and your name and phone number)
- If the animal is an immediate threat to humans, call the Charlotte County Sheriff at 911 so they can notify the Animal Control officer on after-hours duty.
- Wait for a return phone call for further instructions