What to do if You Find an Injured Animal

It can be a distressing experience finding a sick or injured animal in need of help. Here’s what you can do to make sure the little creature gets necessary aid.

Helping Injured Dogs

If you see an injured dog on the street, the first thing you should do is try and calm them before you approach. They will, of course, be scared and confused so it’s best to speak calmly to them as you come near. Do not move them, unless they are in the road, you don’t want to exacerbate existing injuries or cause the dog more pain.

If you do need to move them, try touching them gently on the rump to see if they are receptive to being touched. If they don’t react, you can proceed with caution. Have a board or flat surface that you can move the animal on to, and call the nearest emergency veterinarian. An emergency vet may be able to provide you with advice or come out to rescue the injured animal if you are unable
to get to them or do not feel comfortable doing so.

It is not recommended that you treat the dog yourself, as you could unintentionally worsen the injury or exposure yourself to danger. If it is quicker to transfer the animal to the vet yourself, do so with caution. Place the dog, while still on a flat, movable surface, in your car with food and water nearby if possible, and slowly drive to the nearest vet.

Helping Injured Cats

Cats are generally fussier than dogs and are less amenable to touching. Try to look at the injury without touching the cat and, as long as he isn’t in the road, don’t touch him at all. Speak calmly to the cat, offering food and water if you can, and call an emergency veterinarian hospital.

If the cat is in the road, you will need to move them since they are still in danger of being hit by a car. Like dogs, you’ll need to gently move them to a board or other flat surface. Typically, cats are able to relax more when they are unable to see, so it’s a good idea to cover them with a light blanket before you move them.

Once the professionals are able to take over and treat the animal, it’s time to find the owner. This can be done by looking at any details on their collar, if they have one, or the vet can check the microchip in their ear. If the cat or dog has neither a collar nor a microchip, it’s worth posting around on lost pet blogs and local bulletin boards. If it is discovered that the animal has no owner, you may consider accepting this creature you helped rescue into your home.