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Life can be unpredictable, even for wildlife. An animal emergency is something anyone can encounter at any time. Hence, it’s imperative that people know how to react.

What the wilderness offers differs from what the city can inflict on animals. While they’re meant to stay in their habitats, perhaps curiosity can get the best of them, prompting them to wander outside. The world slows down for no one, not even for animals who are wandering around, curious about their surroundings. They can meet accidents at any time that will require immediate assistance.

This isn’t only limited to the wild animals; even domesticated pets can wander their backyards and still hurt themselves. Regardless of where they are, people are likely to encounter injured animals. When the situation arises, everyone must know how to react.

The Expected Reaction to an Animal Emergency

Humans as they are, most are likely to have a soft spot for animals. Hence, when they encounter an animal emergency of any intensity, their first instinct is likely to help. Whether it’s a bird with a broken wing or a dog that’s been badly injured, people won’t bear to leave it alone.

It’s a normal human reaction to reach out and help.

Compassion is innate in humans and may prompt them to help alleviate the animals’ pain as much as they can. However, as well intended as this may be, helping, especially with zero knowledge about animal care, may not be best. There’s a famous saying in animal welfare that may be best for everyone to remember: “If you care, leave them there.”

This prompts people to leave injured animals in any animal emergency. While it can be tough to move forward with life knowing an animal has been left alone, it’s best to leave them be. This is the best approach for those who know little about animal welfare.

But if it’s impractical to leave them be, and people believe the animal does need immediate assistance, here are things to remember.

The Best Way to Help Injured Animals

When, where, or how people will encounter an animal emergency is unpredictable. Knowledge is always the most important to prepare. But it’s not something most would have.

In an animal emergency, even first aid can be complicated. These procedures listed below will only provide the most essential assistance people can and should provide. After all, animal welfare is out of most people’s bounds. It’s something they can’t control or help with any further. When in an animal emergency, a veterinarian’s care is still critical. What’s listed below must only be initial assistance.

How to Identify Injury in Animals

Before helping any animal, it’s best to know if it truly needs help. Some animals may appear injured or sick but don’t necessarily require help. People must know what to look for and how to assess the situation before jumping in to help. They must first examine the body and look for signs such as blood, limps, and wounds. During this process, they must also assess how big the trouble is and how urgent help is needed. 

Once the injury has been identified, the next best thing to do is assess the surroundings. If the animal is in its natural habitat, moving it may be unnecessary. But if the area also exposes it to more danger, it’s best to move it out of danger.

Children’s books are an excellent source for understanding the importance of helping animals while respecting their space and safety. For instance, Bing by Sarah Gourd is a story about an injured baby duck that was found and saved by a young boy. While the protagonist is a kid, he knew how to handle the situation correctly, saving the duck with utmost care and safety.

What Not to Do

In an animal emergency, people should refrain from immediately handling the animal without assessing whether it is in stress or shock. This can lead to further damage and panic. Instead, they must clear the area for any possible items that can cause more harm. If the animal is in a dangerous space, people must ensure others know of its state.

While first aid can be necessary, and people may be ready to provide it, calling for veterinarians would still be the best option to save their lives.

What to Prepare to Help

If first aid is crucial to saving the animal, people should carefully step in to help. This means that in addition to their first aid knowledge, they must also have some necessary items prepared to jump in at any time.

An animal emergency is time-bound, meaning the worst can happen at any time during distress. Hence, speed and immediate reaction are critical. To ensure they can help, people must always have a veterinarian’s or a clinic’s number saved to their phones. Regardless of how well they can handle the situation, professionals are still the last option for help.

People must also have a blanket or clean towels ready in case the animal needs to be moved or has gaping wounds that need to be covered. They must also have gauze, pads, or tapes for possible bandaging and wound treatment.

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