Calls from Vet Clinics

Before trying to find a rehabber and/or a transporter for the animal, ask the clinic several questions.

1. Has the animal been seen by a vet or vet tech?

A. If not, ask they to please do so and then call back with a fuller report of the situation. Why was it brought in? Is it injured? Is it orphaned? etc. (You may want to give them your home number so they don’t have to work through the hotline again)

B. If yes, ask for a full report (as above).

2. If the animal is injured, has the clinic given it care?

A. If not, please ask them to do so and call back when that has been completed. If a clinic accepts an animal, it assumes responsibility to provide some care such as wound cleaning/bandaging, splinting a break, etc. It is very frustrating and unfair for one of our rehabbers to receive an animal from one vet clinic and have to turn around and immediately take it to another one for treatment or to be euthanized. It is also inhumane for the animal.

3. If the animal is injured, will it be releasable?

A. If not, the animal must be euthanized, and the clinic should do so. Our rehabbers’ permits are for animals who will be released back to the wild. FOR BIRDS per Nora Missell — THIS ONLY APPLIES TO SMALL SONG BIRDS THAT SHE REHABS — there are two kinds of injuries that cannot be repaired, thereby requiring that the bird be¬†euthanized. These are: 1) the bone is sticking through the skin and
2) if the break is in the joint. If the caller cannot tell is the injury is in the joint, refer to a rehabber.

B. If yes, the clinic should treat it, etc. as stated in 2A above.

As for finding a transporter, strongly encourage the clinic to find one of its employees to transport the animal. Advise that you will find a rehabber but then ask questions like — can’t someone take it on their lunch hour or can’t someone drop it off on their way home?

Wildlife Rescue League - Viriginia
Wildlife Helpline 703-440-0800