In an ideal world, you'll call a wildlife rescue, get through to them immediately and drop the animal off within the hour for assessment and care. But wildlife rescues are struggling – there aren’t enough of them, funding is scarce, and it’s usually the same over-worked volunteer answering the phone as is trying to take care of all the animals. You'll need to be patient and follow our advice on providing short term care for the animal you've found while you wait.
Here are our tips to getting the help you need
- Always telephone when seeking help rather than sending Facebook messages, emails etc. as rescues may not have time to check electronic messages very often.
- If you don’t get an immediate answer it’s likely that they are busy caring for other animals. Leave a message and/or send a follow up text, making sure to include your phone number and details of the animal you need help with, and wait for them to call back.
- Be persistent but patient. Call multiple rescues (not just the closest) and leave messages/send texts. If you don't hear back within a couple of hours, call again, leave another message and let them know you called before and you've tried other rescues but you still need help - that will help them triage the messages they need to return. Move on to rescues on other tiers of our directory or rescues that are further away if you need to.
- Keep a note of who you've called and what the outcome was. It's so easy to lose track so making a note will help you keep things straight and know who to keep trying and who has said they're full. If you raise a request with our helpdesk this will also help our volunteers know where to direct you to next.
- Be polite. Most rescuers are volunteers who dedicate their lives to animals alongside jobs and families. We understand how stressful and frustrating it can be when you can’t get hold of a rescue but please don't take it out on the people trying their best to help.
- Always be mindful that most wildlife rescues are run entirely by volunteers and have very limited resources. Sending someone to pick an animal up from you means the animals in their care getting less attention. Please be willing to take the animal to them. Visit https://bit.ly/HWDrive for resources to help you get the animal to rescue if you don't drive.
- Remember wildlife rescues rely entirely on donations from the public. Please give whatever you can spare to help cover the costs of your animal's care and treatment.
- If you follow all these steps and you're having no luck, get in touch with us and we will provide you with further help.