It’s a life changing event to help save the life of an animal in need. Whether the animal is a baby or fully grown, separated from its mother or pack, or if it is hungry or hurt, this guide on how to save animals will help. I would like to start by saying I am not a vet, or trained in medically assisting animals. I’m writing this guide because to my surprise, in the last year alone, I have saved the life of multiple dying animals including horses, donkeys, wild boars, cats, chickens, and cows. With a tremendous amount of love, dedication, and trial and error, I found some tips and tricks that just may save a feral animal in need’s life.
Navigate to where you want to go
Remember, often times the best way to help save a wild animal who is injured, is to immediately go to the vet. Sometimes you can’t make it to the vet right away, and that’s where this guide on how to save animals comes in. Facebook groups dedicated to saving certain animals have also been very helpful to me in situations where I couldn’t see a vet.
First Things First
When you find an animal that is in need, you must first ask yourself basic questions to assess how bad the situation is. Is the animal bleeding out? Has it been crushed or hit by a car? Assess if the animal needs stabilization for a broken body part. If so, then you probably need to find an emergency vet. Utilize google and call as many local veterinarians as you can. If there is no one that will take you in, try joining and posting in local facebook groups for animals. Someone may be able to help. If the animal is hurt, but not bleeding out, you can probably minimize the damage and help feed it while it heals. I have even had some success when I couldn’t see a vet, calling a random vet from another state and simply asking for advice over the phone.
Working with What You Got
Offer to pay if you need to, anything to get some advice on where to go next with the animal if the situation is serious and there is no emergency vet available to you. I hate to say it, but the humane society has not been helpful to me in emergency situations. They also often have to put hurt animals down because they don’t have the funds to take care of them. I have taken hurt birds in and they put them down. It is also worth mentioning to check what local agencies are available to help you in your area.
Caring for a Hurt, Hungry, or Lost Animal Yourself
So let’s now discuss what to do if you find an animal that seems sick, abused, lost, hurt, or starving, which you want to help immediately on your own. Regardless of the species, the animal is likely scared of you, and in general. When considering how to save animals in need:
- Check if the animal is cold or shaking, and if it needs to be wrapped up in a blanket or towel. In the case of Alfie the kitten and Pua the Pig who you will read about below, they both let me wrap them up right away. Many animals won’t be come to you so easily, though. To help an animal that is weary of letting you approach, try offering some food and sitting quietly on its level. Make yourself calm and open, so you are not a threat to the animal. Be patient and use a loving voice.
- Feeding: The animal is probably hungry, and if it’s a baby it probably needs formula. Don’t simply give the animal human milk. Rather, try and ask a friend if they can go to the pet store and get you formula that is specifically made for that animal. It’s a common misconception that kittens who are found should be given milk or tuna, because neither of those things are healthy or helpful for cats. Fruit is often acceptable mashed up to offer to hurt animals like pigs, cows, donkeys, and horses.
Caring for the Body
3. Treat the animal for fleas, tics, or other creatures. If it’s been abandoned or outside for a while, it probably has intestinal parasites or worms that need to be treated later by a vet. For now, you can rub the animal in a powder called Diatomaceous Earth, which you can find in town at your local health food store, pet store, or maybe even hardware type store. That will kill the small creatures as well as their eggs, and then you can pick the fleas off with a tweezer carefully! Then give the animal a bath if you can, with a mild baby shampoo, or Dawn soap, and make sure to dry it thoroughly afterwards.
4. See if the animal is microchipped, so it can be returned to its owner. Plan to get the animal in to see the vet as soon as possible. Call around and see what vet can fit you in the soonest.
5. Use social media to gather funds for the animal if you need help with vet fees. Some local animal rescue organizations will even help you cover costs for free. I have gathered 5k in fundraisers to save an animal’s life, simply by sharing the animal’s story. Utilize tik tok and facebook to create a fundraiser if you need to.
It will of course vary from species to species on what kind of shelter you need to provide. Despite the animal, you want to give it a warm and dry space to sleep, enclosed where they feel safe. Provide towels and blankets, and give the animal a place to go to the bathroom. You can use wood chips or something earthy for this, until you have time to gather proper accommodations.
I found Alfie a few days before Christmas in 2020. I have no idea how he ended up on the highway, but when I found him he was beyond malnutritioned. He couldn’t walk, meow, talk, eat, or play when I found him. I brought Alfie from the brink of death to a fully healthy, thriving boy. I bottle fed him 3 times a day, and after a ton of visits to the vet and multiple medications, we brought him back to life.
Pua the Pig:
Pua is a baby who had been trampled by a large boar. She was COVERED in fleas, which took me days to remove. Pua was interesting because she had an intense amount of strength, even for a baby. It was difficult to contain her. I didn’t ever end up taking her to the vet. I fed her fruits and formula, and nursed her back to full health. She was then set free on a large farm and integrated back into her pack.
Le’a was a pony that was suffering from rain rot. I played with her, brushed her and fed her, and treated her rotten skin. There are many different formulas you can use to treat rain rot, and many animals can get this disease. It is basically where animals who have been exposed to rain over and over without fully drying off, have skin that starts to rot and even grow maggots. You can buy rain rot treatment formulas off of amazon and apply as needed. Le’a is recovered now, and living a happy life with her mom and dad on a farm in Hawai’i.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do in situations where an animal is hurt and needs your help. Food, water, and shelter are always a good place to start. You loving the animal and showing it a calm, welcoming presence, will work wonders. If you ever need a hand, you can email my team at Samcianci@yahoo.com and we will do our best to assist you with getting resources. Let me know in the comments what your experience has been with helping animals in need from the wild!
As always, I hope this was helpful. Wishing you good luck and fortune.
All my love,