Having worked under other licensed rehabbers and their facilities since 2000, our director, Sara Penhallegon, has built a reputation of knowledgeable care and housing of injured wild animals through their eventual release. She became a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in Feb 2012. In that same month Center Valley Animal Rescue (CVAR) became a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitation facility.
CVAR focuses on rehabilitation of wild mammals and initial care for wild birds. These animals are brought to us for many reasons: some are hit by cars, some are attacked by cats and dogs and others are orphaned babies. No matter what the reason for their arrival the goal is always the same: get them healthy, keep them wild and release them back to the wild.
Education about wildlife is one of our goals. We are here to teach good ways to co-exist with our wild neighbors. We put out information each spring and summer to help people determine when an animal really needs to be rescued and when it should be left alone.
What to do if you find a wild animal needing help
First assess the situation; is this animal really needing help? Many times the answer is no.
Is it safe for you to contain the animal? Will the animal get injured worse if you try to contain it?
Stress is the number one cause of death in wild animals admitted to rehabilitators. Stress can come from sight, sounds, smells or direct stress such as handling. Many people think an animals is stressed only when it is visibly upset or “freaking out”. With many wild animals stress is shown in the opposite way, calm and quiet, so as not to attract attention of predators (like humans). Keep these things in mind before attempting to catch or transport and animal.
Once you have determined that the animal is in need of rescue, wearing gloves use a towel or blanket to cover the animal. Then place the animal in a paper grocery sack (small bird), cardboard box (birds, small mammals) or pet carrier covered with a towel or blanket (larger birds or mammals). Make sure there is plenty of ventilation in your transport option and a towel or blanket is good in the bottom of the container also so they have traction. Keep the animal/bird warm, dry and in the dark until you can get it to your local rehabilitator, this should be done immediately. Do not feed the animal or try to force water down it. This added stress and an improper diet can kill the animal you are trying to help. Also when transporting keep car radios off and keep talking to a minimum and when need use quiet voices.