Overnight care of injured mammals
- Safe environment — Place the animal(s) in a small cardboard box or plastic carrier with plenty of air holes for ventilation. Use soft bedding such as towels, old t-shirts, or paper towels. Do not use grass clippings or wood chips/shaving. Keep the box inside in a quiet, dark area away from pets and people. Handle the animal as little as possible — wild animals can easily get stressed by captivity and over handling.
- A small bowl of water can be placed inside the enclosure. Most wild animals are much too stressed initially to eat or drink so placing food in the enclosure is not necessary. If you feel you must offer food to the animal the following can be offered to these species:
- Rabbits: romaine lettuce, carrots and carrot tops, grass (No fertilizer/pesticides), apples, timothy hay, rabbit pellets
- Squirrels/rodents: bird seed, unsalted/unflavored nuts, apples, berries, cheerios, dry dog food, small amount of peanut butter
- Raccoons: dry/moist dog food, berries, apples, peanut butter in moderation, unseasoned cooked meat
- Fox/coyote/mink/opossums: dry/moist dog food, unseasoned cooked meat
- DO NOT give any medical treatment or medications, including flea sprays, etc. Many medications that are safe for use in your pets or humans are not safe in wild animals and can have severe to life threatening adverse effects.
- Get the animal to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or facility as soon as possible in the morning. Injuries need professional medical attention as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of successful treatment. It is against the law and not in the animals’ best interest to keep or raise wildlife without the proper permits and education.
- Always wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after handling a wild animal. Wild animals can carry parasites that can also infect humans. Raccoons commonly carry an intestinal roundworm, baylisascaris, which can be very harmful to humans.