Who to Contact for Help #
If you have found a sick or injured wild animal, we strongly recommend seeking help from one of the specialist wildlife rescues in our directory rather than trying to care for it yourself, or calling general/domestic animal-focused organisations such as vets or the RSPCA. We explain why in more detail at helpwildlife.co.uk/advice/care-options.
How to Find a Wildlife Rescue #
You can see details of wildlife rescues in your area by putting your location into the search facility of our directory.
If you don’t find any suitable rescues in your initial search, or those you find can’t help, you can move on to searching the second tier of our directory which shows you smaller rescues.
How to Contact a Wildlife Rescue #
In an ideal world, you’ll telephone 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 and trying to take care of all the animals.
Here are our tips for getting the help you need
- In general, it’s best to telephone when seeking help rather than sending Facebook messages, emails etc. as rescues may not have time to check electronic messages very often. There are some rescues who co-ordinate via Messenger or WhatsApp but only use these methods if directly instructed to do so by their directory listing, website or voicemail for example. If in doubt, default to a phone call.
- You may well not get an immediate answer as it’s likely that volunteers could be 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. Rescues often get full and may not have the time to return messages about animals they do not have space for.
- 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.
If you’ve had no luck finding help, you can contact our helpdesk and our volunteers will provide assistance, including checking our back up ‘Community Heroes’ list for any micro rescues or independent rehabbers in your area.
Some Other Things to Remember #
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. There’s advice about ways to get animals to rescue here.
While you’re waiting to secure help from a wildlife rescue, there are some important things you can do to maximise the animal’s chances of survival. There is detailed, practical advice on next steps, from capturing an animal, taking care of them short-term, contacting a wildlife rescue, and transporting the animal to them at helpwildlife.co.uk/advice/practical-advice-for-finders.