Assessing if Help is Needed

It’s essential that a wild animal in need of assistance is helped but it’s also very important that wild animals are not plucked from the wild unnecessarily. Finding the right balance can sometimes be difficult and that’s where we hope to help.

As a general rule…


Always seek help from a rescue if an animal has #

  • a visible wound or growth
  • fly eggs or live maggots on them
  • been or is caught in netting, a trap or snare, or tangled in fishing line/string etc (see this article for more information)
  • been covered with oil or similar substance (more information here)
  • been in the mouth of a cat or dog (more advice here)
  • been hit by a car (more advice here)


Rescue help is probably not needed for #

  • a healthy looking fledgling (fully feathered) bird on the ground (more information here)
  • adult waterfowl with airplane/angel wing (see this article for more information)
  • uninjured baby deer or hares (leverets) without their mother (it’s normal for them to be left alone)
  • a nest of fox cubs, baby hedgehogs or rodents without their mother (Mum won’t spend all her time with the babies)


We have an extensive library of articles on our website which aim to cover some of the common reasons why a member of the public might think an animal needs help. You can search these articles below or browse them all at

Next Steps #

If you remain unsure or need bespoke advice please visit

If the animal does need help, the next step, if it’s safe to do so, is to capture it. There’s advice on that step here.

If it’s a large or potentially dangerous animal such as a deer, fox, badger, swan or goose, proceed directly to our advice on finding and contacting a wildlife rescue.

Updated on May 6, 2024