Once an animal is captured, the best possible outcome would be its immediate transportation to a wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitator. If you have prepared in advance and have the phone number with you, contacting them would be your next step.

Be prepared to transport the animal yourself. Most rehabilitators work on a volunteer basis with very limited funds. Many do not have the resources to pick animals up and need your assistance to get that animal into the rehabilitation system.

If you do not have the contact information handy or if there is no immediate answer, you may have to hold the animal for a short time.


At some point, you will have to transport the animal either to the rehabilitator or to your home for temporary holding.  This sounds like the easy part, and with a little common sense, it is. How the animal is transported will have a great effect on the animal’s stress level. The following guidelines will help reduce the animal’s anxiety during the ride.

Be safe traveling. Don’t allow excitement and adrenaline to take over. Follow the speed limits and obey all the traffic laws. You can’t help the animal if you are injured in an accident.

Keep the animal in the dark and remove any visual stimulation. If the animal is in a cardboard box, this has already been accomplished. If the animal can see out, cover the container completely with a towel, blanket or coat.

The best place to position the box for transport is on the floor behind the front passenger- or driver-seat. If this is not possible, place the box as centrally located in the vehicle as possible. This will lessen movement when turning and driving over rough roadways. Secure the container with a seatbelt or by tying it down to prevent rolling.

DO NOT transport animals in the trunk or in the open bed of a pickup.

DO NOT play the radio. Music may be soothing to you but is completely foreign to a wild animal. Dark and quiet are the keys to a stress-free trip.

DO NOT smoke. Just like the radio may be a stress factor, the smell of smoke can heighten an animal’s feeling of danger. Think of all possible causes of stress and try to eliminate them during the ride.

Avoid the temptation to peek. Animals often calm down and become quiet during transport, and you may fear that it is getting worse, or has expired. A slight opening of the container may be all the animal needs to encourage an escape attempt, and you do not want the animal loose in your car.


Your POCKET REFERENCE GUIDE to injured or orphaned wild animals!

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When rescuing injured wildlife, the choices you make will impact that animal’s life and possibly your own. Knowing about the risks to the animal as well as to you, your family and your pets, along with the right advice from the beginning can mean the difference between a heartwarming, educational experience and disaster.

This informative guide teaches would-be rescuers how to identify an animal in need, capture that animal, and safely transport it to a wildlife rehabilitator.

• How to determine the status of an injured creature using easy-to-follow flow charts
• Instructions on safe-capture methods, emergency care, transportation, and finding a professional wildlife rehabilitator